FSIS Policies on Regulatory Decisions
All FSIS personnel, particularly those who make regulatory and enforcement decisions, are not to retaliate in any way against establishment owners, operators, or employees who have questioned or appealed regulatory or enforcement decisions. FSIS personnel who have engaged in retaliatory behavior may be subject to disciplinary action. (See also FSIS Directive 4735.7, PDF Only)
Appealing FSIS Regulatory Decisions
Federally inspected establishments have the ability to appeal any inspection decision through the use of the Agency's appeal process. FSIS encourages plant owners/operators to appeal decisions they believe are unfair or are not consistent with applicable regulatory standards. Use of the appeal process ensures that any disagreements between plant owners/operators and FSIS inspection program personnel are reviewed. Additional information regarding how to utilize the appeal process may be found by accessing: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/SVS_Appeals_Guidelines.pdf.
Small Business Protection Laws
Small business owners may contact the Office of National Ombudsman at 1-888-REGFAIR (1-888-734-3247) or www.sba.gov/ombudsman regarding the fairness of the compliance and enforcement actions of FSIS. Please note: FSIS-regulated establishments must use the formal FSIS appeal process to challenge a regulatory decision. The National Ombudsman cannot change, stop, or delay a Federal agency enforcement action. The National Ombudsman can, however, serve as a liaison between small business owners and Federal agencies to discuss the fairness of a regulatory action.