FSIS Data: Analysis and Reporting
- Inspection and Enforcement Activity
- Domestic Establishments and Import Facilities
- Policy Analysis and Impact
- Foodborne Illness Attribution
- FSIS Pathogen Verification Testing, FSIS Baselines and Reports, and U.S. National Residue Program; Sampling Programs
- Performance Management and Strategic Data Analysis Planning
FSIS routinely assesses inspection data to evaluate potential trends and to ensure that inspection procedures are conducted in a timely, appropriate, and effective manner. FSIS also generates several routine reports which highlight, at a high level, Agency inspection activities.
FSIS routinely evaluates data on FSIS regulated domestic establishments and port-of-entry and audit results for foreign countries that import meat, poultry, and processed egg products to evaluate potential trends and to ensure that FSIS activities are conducted in a timely, appropriate, and effective manner.
FSIS routinely evaluates the effectiveness of policies issued by the Agency to ensure that FSIS policy is meaningful, responsive to changing events and science, and based on the best available information. For example, FSIS periodically reviews inspection data from regulated establishments after the implementation of a new policy to determine if potential trends exist in noncompliances over time. This allows FSIS to determine whether the new policy produced the change sought when it was issued.
FSIS also seeks to estimate the potential public health impact of future policies. For example, FSIS performed an assessment of the new Salmonella and Campylobacter performance standards issued by the Agency in July 2011 to determine how many foodborne illnesses could be avoided through the implementation of the new policy.
Moving forward, FSIS is also developing current and intended risk mitigation strategies to help the Agency better predict the public health impact of new policies. These new strategies will allow FSIS to better predict foodborne illness reductions, allowing for an improved, targeted approach to public health goal setting. Examples of these analyses are posted below.
- Public Health Regulations (Decision criteria to prioritize Food Safety Assessments)
- Potential Public Health Impact of New Salmonella Performance Standards (PDF Only)
Foodborne illness attribution is defined as the allocation of foodborne illnesses to specific food products. FSIS currently estimates attribution fractions, or the fraction of foodborne illnesses associated with a particular food product, using the CDC's Electronic Foodborne Outbreak Reporting System (e-FORS) and the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS), which contains information about the food item responsible for the outbreak.
FSIS' methodology for estimating foodborne illness attribution for FSIS-regulated products is described below, along with several supporting documents highlighting the history of attribution. FSIS is also a founding member of the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC), a high-level CDC, FDA, and FSIS workgroup formed in 2011 to investigate new attribution methods and develop a harmonized approach across all three agencies. Information about IFSAC is included below as well.
- Current FSIS Attribution Methodology
- Historical Attribution Information
- IFSAC Information
- Webinar: Improving the Categories Used to Classify Foods Implicated in Outbreaks (Jun 18, 2013)
- Foodborne Illness Source Attribution Public Meeting (Jan 31, 2012)
- FDA Risk Communication Advisory Committee Meeting on IFSAC (Aug 15-16, 2011)
FSIS conducts routine pathogen verification testing of regulated products. This testing allows FSIS to monitor the effectiveness, where applicable, of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) programs and assess, and minimize the risk to the public's health from contaminated products.
FSIS views results from verification samples from federal establishments as the best indicator of the overall trend of the presence of pathogens in regulated products. For this reason the Agency uses the percentage of positives in these samples as one of its key performance measures. Traditionally, FSIS publicly reports the results of this testing as the percent of all samples that test positive for a particular pathogen. These reports are available on the FSIS website on our Microbiology page.
The U.S. National Residue Program (NRP) is a collaborative interagency program established to protect the public from exposure to harmful levels of chemical residues in meat, poultry, and egg products produced or imported into the United States. The NRP is designed:
- to provide a structured process for identifying and evaluating chemical compounds of concern in food animals;
- to analyze chemical compounds of concern;
- to collect and report results, and
- to identify the need for regulatory follow-up when violative levels of chemical residues are found.
FSIS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are the federal agencies primarily involved in managing this program. Since 1967, FSIS has administered the U.S. NRP by collecting samples from meat, poultry, and egg products and analyzing the samples at one of three FSIS laboratories. FSIS also maintains and posts a Residue Repeat Violators List, which contains information to help establishments, Livestock Markets, and inspection program personnel identify residue history of producers.
Sampling Programs. FSIS also produces a number of comprehensive reports related to the Agency's sampling programs. These reports allow FSIS to publicly share information about the Agency's' sampling programs, discuss the statistical and policy basis for these programs and future changes to develop new programs and modify existing programs.
- FSIS Annual Sampling Program Plan, FY 2014 (Dec 2013; PDF Only)
- Campylobacter Methods Comparison Report (May 31, 2013; PDF Only)
- FSIS Annual Sampling Program Plan, FY 2013 (Nov 2012; PDF Only)
- Changing the Set Sizes in Raw Ground Poultry Sampling (Aug 2012; PDF Only)
- Use of FSIS Regulatory Verification Sampling to Generate Prevalence Estimates (Apr 2012; PDF Only)
- Redesign of FSIS Sampling Methodologies To Improve Detection of E. coli O157:H7 (Mar 2012; PDF Only)
- FSIS Annual Sampling Program Plan, FY 2012 (Feb 2012; PDF Only)
- Report on the Food Safety and Inspection Service's Microbiological and Residue Sampling Programs (Dec 28, 2011; PDF Only)