Performance Management and Strategic Data Analysis Planning
Like other federal food safety and public health agencies, FSIS engages in major
federal performance measurement initiatives, which allows the Agency to set meaningful
goals to achieve the Agency's intended outcomes. Two of the initiatives FSIS has been
involved with over the past several years are listed below.
Healthy People 2010 and 2020 Initiatives
The Healthy People Initiative created a set of health objectives for the Nation to achieve
over a decade. It can be used by many different people, States, communities, professional
organizations, and others to help them develop programs to improve health. The Healthy
People 2010 effort built on initiatives pursued over the past two decades. The 1979 Surgeon
General’s Report, Healthy People, and Healthy People 2000: National Health Promotion and
Disease Prevention Objectives both established national health objectives and served as the
basis for the development of State and community plans.
Like its predecessors, Healthy People 2010 was developed through a broad consultation process,
built on the best scientific knowledge and designed to measure programs over time. Food safety
is a key component of the
Healthy People Initiative, with an entire focus area dedicated to
joint USDA, FDA and CDC efforts to reduce foodborne illnesses in the population, such as
Salmonella. Recently, goals and objectives for the Healthy People 2020 Initiative were released.
Food Safety Working Group Measures
On March 14, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the creation of a new
Food Safety Working Group (FSWG) to advise him on
how to upgrade the U.S. food safety system. The Working Group, chaired by the Secretary of Health
and Human Services and Secretary of Agriculture, recommended a new, public health-focused
approach to food safety based on three core principles:
- prioritizing prevention;
- strengthening surveillance and enforcement; and
- improving response and recovery.
FSIS, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and
CDC have worked jointly to develop food safety
metrics based on these three core principles that represent federal food safety activities along
the food supply chain using a farm-to-table framework. This framework allows for agencies to
demonstrate the need for a coordinated approach to ensure food safety, the identification of data
gaps to measure the impact of food safety activities, and helps Agencies like FSIS to target areas
in the farm-to-table continuum where more attention is needed.
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FSIS Performance Measurement—Key Metrics
In the FSIS Strategic Plan
for 2011-2016, FSIS identified a number of key performance measures that
allow the Agency to assess its performance in a variety of critical areas. These key performance
measures are described below.
Percentage of broiler establishments passing the new carcass Salmonella verification testing
Broiler carcasses represent the raw class of food product with the greatest potential to cause exposure of
the public to Salmonella. In 2010, FSIS proposed a new performance standard for Salmonella in broiler
carcasses based on a recent baseline study. Failure to meet this new standard serves as a proxy for
heightened exposure potential to the public. FSIS identifies performance standards for Salmonella
in up to eight classes of raw products. These standards are designed to cause industry to control
for Salmonella and reduce the potential for human exposure. The best available projection is that
88 percent of establishments will have passed the new performance standard. By 2016, FSIS expects
to take steps to increase the number of establishments passing the new standard to 95 percent,
thereby further decreasing exposure of the public to Salmonella and contributing to fewer foodborne
All Illness Measure
The FSIS All Illness Measure provides an estimate of the total number of Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7
and Listeria monocytogenes foodborne illnesses associated with FSIS regulated meat, poultry, and
processed egg products. This measure was developing using a variety of data sources, including
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) foodborne illness and outbreak data, as well as the
foodborne illness attribution methods described at
Food Defense Measure
FSIS developed a performance measure for food defense with the goal of increasing the number of
establishments with a functional food defense plan. Food defense plans are written procedures that
establishments should follow to protect the food supply from intentional contamination with chemicals,
biological agents, or other harmful substances.
Food defense plans are defined, in part, in FSIS Directive 5420.1 Rev. 6 and further defined in the
"Elements of a Food Defense Plan" guidance document available on the FSIS website at:
To be considered functional, a food defense plan must have four elements:
FSIS considers these plans to be important measures for preventing intentional product adulteration.
- the plan is written;
- the facility has measures in place that address inside security, outside security, personnel security, and incident response security;
- the food defense measures are periodically tested (e.g., testing locks, conducting periodic perimeter searches); and
- the facility has reviewed the plan in the last year.
The Agency has developed guidance materials to assist in the development of plans and fostering
understanding of what constitutes a food defense plan for establishments. This performance metric
will be measured via the FSIS Food Defense Plan survey, which is conducted annually and gathers data
about industry's voluntary adoption of food defense plans.
Percentage of slaughter plants identified during District Veterinary Medical Specialist (DVMS) humane
handling verification visits as having an effective systematic approach to humane handling (all four
elements of a systematic approach implemented).
All official livestock slaughter establishments are required to handle and slaughter livestock using humane
methods. Establishments need to implement and maintain a systematic approach to humane handling and slaughter
to best assure compliance with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. A well-designed and implemented systematic approach to humane handling
includes at least four features. These include:
- conducting an initial assessment of locations where livestock are handled in connection with slaughter;
- designing facilities and on-going standard 17 FSIS Strategic Plan FY 2011-2016 handling procedures that minimize excitement, discomfort, or accidental injury to livestock;
- conducting periodic evaluations of the humane handling methods; and
- identifying and implementing corrective measures when necessary.
This performance measure will capture the extent to which industry is
implementing a systematic approach to humane handling. The performance measure will also include an Agency
assessment as to the effectiveness of these programs in ensuring that all livestock are handled and slaughtered
in a humane manner for the entire time that they are at the slaughter establishment.
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Strategic Data Analysis Planning
FSIS established a strategic goal to enhance the development and maintenance of an integrated and robust data collection and
analysis system to verify the effectiveness and efficiency of Agency programs. FSIS heavily relies on data to promote proactive
decisions affecting food safety and public health. As a result, FSIS has strengthened both its data collection and analysis
activities to ensure valid, timely data is collected, carefully analyzed, and continually reported in a user-friendly manner.
The reports listed below provide an overview of FSIS' data analysis capabilities, as well as a thorough description of future
data analysis efforts, particularly in light of the full implementation of the Public Health Information System (PHIS).
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December 21, 2011
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