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Glossary - P

Archive Page. Archived files are provided for reference purposes only. This file was current when produced, but is no longer maintained and may now be outdated.

 

View Glossary terms beginning with:

Parasites
Organisms that derive nourishment and protection from other living organisms known as hosts. They may be transmitted from animals to humans, from humans to humans, or from humans to animals. Several parasites have emerged as significant causes of foodborne and waterborne disease. These organisms live and reproduce within the tissues and organs of infected human and animal hosts, and are often excreted in feces. Some common parasites are Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium parvum, Cyclospora cayetanensis, Toxoplasma gondii, Trichinella spiralis, Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm), and Taenia solium (pork tapeworm).

Parma Ham
Parma Ham is prosciutto from the Parma locale in Italy. These hams tend to be larger than the U.S. produced product, as Italian hogs are larger at slaughter.

Partially Defatted (Beef or Pork) Fatty Tissue
These are byproducts produced from fatty trimmings containing less than 12% lean meat. These ingredients may be used in meat products in which byproducts are acceptable.

Partnership for Food Safety Education
A public-private coalition formed in 1977, which is dedicated to educating the public about safe food handling to help reduce foodborne illnesses. The partnership is comprised of industry, government and consumer groups and has developed a far-reaching, ambitious and consumer-friendly public education campaign focused on safe food handling.

Pasteurization
The process of destroying microorganisms that could disease. This is usually done by applying heat to food. Three processes used to pasteurize foods are flash pasteurization, steam pasteurization, and irradiation pasteurization.

Pathogen
A microorganism (bacteria, parasites, viruses, or fungi) that is infectious and causes disease.

Performance Based Inspection System (PBIS)
A computer-based system used by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. The system organizes inspection requirements, schedules inspection activities, and maintains records of findings for meat and poultry processing operations under federal inspection.

Perishable
Food that is subject to decay, spoilage, or bacteria unless it is properly refrigerated or frozen.

Pesticide
A substance used to kill, control, repel, or mitigate any pest. Insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, herbicides, and germicides are all pesticides. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates pesticides under authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). In addition, under FIFRA, a substance used as a plant regulator, defoliant, desiccant is defined as a pesticide and regulated accordingly. All pesticides must be registered and carry a label approved by EPA.

Pesticide Data Program (PDP)
A program initiated in 1991 by the Agricultural Marketing Service to collect pesticide residue data on selected food commodities, primarily fruits and vegetables. PDP data are used by the Environmental Protection Agency to support its dietary risk assessment process and pesticide registration process, by the Food and Drug Administration to refine sampling for enforcement of tolerances, by the Foreign Agricultural Service, to support export of U.S. commodities in a competitive global market, by the Economic Research Service to evaluate pesticide alternatives, and by the public sector to address food safety issues.

PFF
Protein Fat Free.

Plasticizer
Material added during the manufacturing process to increase flexibility; for example, the plasticizer ATBC (acetyl tributyl citrate), used in such DowBrands™ as Saran™ and Handiwrap™, is made from citric acid which is commonly present in citrus fruit.

Pork
The meat from hogs, or domestic swine. Much of a hog is cured and made into ham, bacon, and sausage. Uncured meat is called “fresh pork.”

Pork Bellies
One of the major cuts of the hog carcass that, when cured, becomes bacon.

Pork Shoulder Picnic
A front shoulder cut of pork which has been cured in the same manner as ham.

Postmortem Inspection
As used in the meat and poultry inspection program, the phrase refers to the inspection that Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors are required to conduct of all animal carcasses immediately after they are killed.

Potentially Hazardous Foods
A food that is natural or synthetic and that requires temperature control because it is in a form capable of supporting the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms.

Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1957 (PPIA)
P.L. 85-172 (August 28, 1957), as amended by the Wholesome Poultry Products Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-492, August 18, 1968), requires USDA to inspect all “domesticated birds” when slaughtered and processed into products for human consumption. The USDA has defined, by regulation, domesticated birds as chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and guineas. The primary goals of the law are to prevent adulterated or misbranded poultry and products from being sold as food, and to ensure that poultry, poultry products, ratites, and squabs are slaughtered and processed under sanitary conditions. These requirements also apply to products produced and sold within states as well as to imports, which must be inspected under equivalent foreign standards.

Poultry, Product Classes
Standards for kinds and classes, and for cuts of raw poultry are discussed in 9 CFR 381.170.

PrepNet
The Food Threat Preparedness Network (PrepNet) functions across Federal departments to ensure effective coordination of food security efforts throughout the Government. PrepNet is co-chaired by the Administrator of FSIS and the Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Other members include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The focus of this group is on preventive activities to protect the food supply proactively, as well as on rapid response. PrepNet, which works in conjunction with the Office of Homeland Security, is reviewing each agency’s statutory authorities and conducting an assessment of needs, with plans to fill the statutory gaps. PrepNet members share scientific and laboratory assets.

Prepared
Slaughtered, canned, salted, rendered, boned, cut up, or otherwise manufactured or processed.

Preservation
A variety of methods used at the processing stage and at home to keep food safe from harmful bacteria and extend the storage life of food.

Product
Any carcass, meat, meat by-product, or meat food product, capable of use as human food.

Prosciutto Ham
An Italian-style dry cured raw ham; not smoked; often coated with pepper. Prosciutto can be eaten raw because of the way it is processed.

Public Health
The science and the art of 1) preventing disease; 2) prolonging life; and organized community efforts for a) the sanitation of the environment; b) the control of communicable infections; c) the education of the individual in personal hygiene; d) the organization of medical and nursing devices for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease; and e) the development of the social machinery to ensure everyone a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health, so organizing these benefits as to enable every citizen to realize his/her birthright of health and longevity.

Pulse-Field Gel Electrophorsis (PFGE)
The DNA fingerprinting method that scientists use to determine the source of bacteria in foods.

PulseNet
FSIS participates in PulseNet, a national network of public health laboratories directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PulseNet performs DNA fingerprinting on foodborne bacteria and assists in the detection of foodborne illness outbreaks and traceback to their sources, including detection of a linkage among sporadic cases. PulseNet, combined with epidemiology, has been key in enabling Federal agencies to detect and control outbreaks of foodborne illness rapidly.

 

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Last Modified Aug 11, 2014