|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
Congressional and Public Affairs
FSIS Announces New Food Safety and Security Guidelines to Assist Transporters and Distributors of Meat, Poultry and Egg Products
WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2003 - The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced the availability of new food safety and security guidance for transporters and distributors of meat, poultry and egg products as part of its continuing effort to help protect America's food supply from intentional and unintentional contamination. In May 2002, FSIS issued security guidelines for food processors.
FSIS Safety and Security Guidelines for the Transportation and Distribution of Meat, Poultry and Egg Products is designed to help facilities and shippers that handle meat, poultry and egg products strengthen their food safety and security plans. The guidelines provide recommendations to ensure the security of food products through all phases of distribution.
"Protecting food during transportation and storage is a critical component in our defense against all types of foodborne contaminants," said FSIS Administrator Dr. Garry L. McKee. "These guidelines will further enhance the safety and security of meat, poultry and egg products throughout the food distribution chain."
Meat, poultry and egg products are frequently transported multiple times on their way to the consumer and may be exposed to hazards at each step. The guidelines address points in the transportation and distribution process where potential contaminants could be introduced, including loading and unloading, and in-transit storage. FSIS encourages shippers, transporters, distributors and receivers to develop and implement controls to prevent contamination of products through all phases of distribution and to have plans in place in the event of accidental or deliberate contamination.
FSIS is requesting public comments in response to a series of questions contained in the Federal Register notice announcing the guidelines. The agency is interested in comments that address any shortcomings or suggest possible improvements in the published guidelines and any challenges the guidelines may pose, particularly for smaller transportation, distribution and storage companies.
FSIS Safety and Security Guidelines for the Transportation and Distribution of Meat, Poultry and Egg Products is now available on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/topics/biosecurity.htm.
Written comments on the guidelines and answers to the questions in the Federal Register notice should be submitted no later than October 3, 2003 to the FSIS Docket Room, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 102, Cotton Annex, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.
For Further Information, Contact: