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Commodity Guidance

This page provides guidance material for the safety and production of meat, poultry products and egg products (organized by bacteria, HACCP, sampling, microbiological test methods and laboratories).

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Beef and Veal

 
Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC)

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Minimizing the Risk of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Raw Beef (including Veal) Processing Operations (2017)
This guideline is designed to assist establishments producing non-intact and intact cuts intended for raw non-intact beef products so they may understand the adulterant status of STEC in beef products and design supportable control measures for STEC.

Compliance Guideline for Minimizing the Risk of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia Coli (STEC) and Salmonella in Beef (including Veal) Slaughter Operations (2017) 
This guideline provides beef and veal slaughter establishments with information concerning best practices at slaughter that they can use to prevent, eliminate, or reduce levels of fecal and associated microbiological contamination, specifically contamination with Shiga Toxin Producing E. coli (STEC) and Salmonella.

Sanitary Dressing and Antimicrobial Implementation at Veal Slaughter Establishments: Identified Issues and Best Practices (Sep 2015)
The purpose of this document is to help veal slaughter establishments to implement effective sanitary dressing procedures and antimicrobial treatments and to properly assess microbial testing results.

Compliance Guideline for Establishments Sampling Beef Trimmings for Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) Organisms or Virulence Markers (Aug 2014)
This Compliance Guideline is meant to help beef slaughter/fabrication establishments that manufacture beef trimmings develop and implement statistical process control procedures to assess the effectiveness of their controls for preventing contamination during the slaughter operation.

Pre-Harvest Management Controls and Intervention Options for Reducing Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Shedding in Cattle: An Overview of Current Research (Aug 2014)
This document provides beef slaughter establishments with an informational resource on pre-harvest management controls and interventions for reducing Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) shedding in beef cattle production.

Compliance Guideline for E. coli O157:H7 Sampled and Tested Claims for Boneless Beef Manufacturing Trimmings ("Trim") (Aug 2014)
This document provides guidance on the use of labels bearing an FSIS sketch approved Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) sampled and tested claim on beef trim.

 
Generic Escherichia coli
 

Guidelines for Escherichia coli Testing for Process Control Verification in Cattle and Swine Slaughter Establishments (1996)
Under the Pathogen Reduction/HACCP regulation, cattle and swine slaughter establishments are required to test carcasses for generic E. coli as a means of verifying process control. This document outlines sampling and microbial testing procedures that would meet this requirement.

 
HACCP Guidelines

FSIS Compliance Guideline HACCP Systems Validation (April 2015) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
This guidance document is designed to help very small meat and poultry plants meet the initial validation requirements in 9 CFR 417.4.

Meat and Poultry Hazards and Controls Guide (Mar 2018) 
FSIS developed this guide to help FSIS personnel to evaluate all aspects of an establishment's system for producing processed meat and poultry products.

 
Sanitation Performance Standards

Less than Daily Sanitation Procedures Compliance Guideline (Oct 19, 2009)
This guidance document was developed to help establishments that are considering or planning to implement less than daily (LTD) sanitation procedures.

 
Inspection Requirements

FSIS Guideline for Determining Whether a Livestock Slaughter or Processing Firm is Exempt from the Inspection Requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (May 25, 2018)
This guideline is designed to help firms that slaughter livestock or process meat and meat products determine whether they are exempt from required Federal inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.

Fact Sheet: Appealing Inspection Decisions | PDF
This document is designed to provide information to help small and very small plants understand the process of appealing inspection decisions made by FSIS personnel.

FSIS Compliance Guide for a Systematic Approach to the Humane Handling of Livestock (Oct 23, 2013)
FSIS developed this guide to promote a systematic approach to achieve compliance with the 9 CFR Part 313 regulatory requirements for humane handling and slaughter of livestock.

Compliance Guidelines for Use of Video or Other Electronic Monitoring or Recording Equipment in Federally Inspected Establishments (Aug 26, 2011) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese 
This guideline was written to provide information to industry on the use of video or other electronic monitoring or recording equipment to help it maintain compliance with federal regulations, including humane treatment of livestock and the use of good commercial practices in poultry.

"At Least Equal to" Guidelines for State Meat and Poultry Cooperative Inspection Programs (Nov 10. 2016)
This guideline provides information to State Cooperative Inspection programs on the criteria that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) uses to determine each year whether State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs are operating verifiably in accordance with requirements that are “at least equal to” the Federal inspection requirements. 

“At Least Equal To” Data System Guidance for State Cooperative Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) Programs Electing Not To Use Public Health Information System (PHIS)
Provides guidance to State Cooperative Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs electing to use a data system other than FSIS’s Public Health Information System (PHIS) for meeting the “at least equal to” data system essentials.

 
Slaughter Inspection

Mobile Slaughter Unit Compliance Guide (May 24, 2010)
This guideline is intended for owners and managers of a new or existing red meat or poultry MSU who want their establishment to come under Federal inspection and continue operations in accordance with Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations

 

FSIS Salmonella Compliance Guidelines for Small and Very Small Meat and Poultry Establishments that Produce Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Products and Revised Appendix A (Jun 2017)
This guidance document is intended to assist small and very small meat and poultry establishments understand the regulatory requirements associated with safe production of ready-to-eat (RTE) products with respect to Salmonella and other pathogens.

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Stabilization (Cooling and Hot-Holding) of Fully and Partially Heat-Treated RTE and NRTE Meat and Poultry Products Produced by Small and Very Small Establishments and Revised Appendix B (Jun 2017) This guidance document is designed to help small and very small meat and poultry establishments that produce heat-treated (both fully and partially heat-treated) ready-to-eat (RTE) and not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) meat and poultry products that stabilize their products (by cooling or hot-holding) understand: 1) The regulatory requirements associated with stabilization (cooling and hot-holding); 2) The scientific support documents available to help develop a safe process and product; and 3) Recommended corrective actions in the event of a cooling deviation.

Expert Elicitation on the Market Shares for Raw Meat and Poultry Products Containing Added Solutions and Mechanically Tenderized Raw Meat and Poultry Products (Feb 2012)

Compliance Guideline for E. coli O157:H7 Sampled and Tested Claims for Boneless Beef Manufacturing Trimmings ("Trim") (Aug 2014)
This document provides guidance on the use of labels bearing an FSIS sketch approved Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) sampled and tested claim on beef trim.

Guidelines for Escherichia coli Testing for Process Control Verification in Cattle and Swine Slaughter Establishments (1996)
Under the Pathogen Reduction/HACCP regulation, cattle and swine slaughter establishments are required to test carcasses for generic E. coli as a means of verifying process control. This document outlines sampling and microbial testing procedures that would meet this requirement.

Guidelines for Escherichia coli Testing for Process Control Verification in Poultry Slaughter Establishments (1996)
Under the Pathogen Reduction/HACCP Regulation, poultry slaughter establishments are required to test carcasses for generic E. coli as a means of verifying process control. This document outlines sampling and microbial testing procedures that would meet this requirement.

“At Least Equal To” Compliance Guideline for State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) Programs for Laboratory Methods (Jun 2013)
This Compliance Guideline supplements the “At Least Equal To” Compliance Guidelines for State Meat and Poultry Inspection Programs. It specifically supplements the guidance material in Component 3 - Product Sampling, of the guideline.

  • FSIS Form 5720-14 (fillable PDF) - State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program Laboratory Quality Management System Checklist
  • FSIS Form 5720-15 - (fillable PDF) - Laboratory Method Notification Form

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Validating Cooking Instructions for Mechanically Tenderized Beef Products | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
The purpose of this guideline is to help establishments ensure that their labels on raw or partially cooked needle- or blade-tenderized beef products destined for household consumers, hotels, restaurants, or similar institutions contain validated cooking instructions that comply with the requirements in 9 CFR 317.2(e)(3)(iii)..

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Controlling Meat and Poultry Products Pending FSIS Test Results (Feb 1, 2013; PDF)
This guidance document has been developed to assist domestic establishments and importers of record comply with the Food Safety and Inspection Service's new policy that product FSIS tests for adulterants will not be allowed to move into commerce until acceptable results become available.

Establishment Guidance for the Selection of a Commercial or Private Microbiological Testing Laboratory (Revised Jun 2013)
This guidance document  is provided to establishments producing meat, poultry and processed egg products for use when they are selecting a commercial or private laboratory to analyze establishment microbiological samples.

Foodborne Pathogen Test Kits Validated by Independent Organizations | PDF
FSIS is making available a list of test kits that have been validated for detection of relevant foodborne pathogens (i.e. Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, and Listeria spp. including L. monocytogenes).  These lists are intended to be informational and are not an endorsement or approval of any particular method, regardless of its inclusion in the list.

FSIS Guidance for Evaluating Test Kit Performance 
This guidance document is intended to assist the design of validation experiments for methods used to detect bacterial pathogens in matrices such as meat, poultry, and egg products, and environmental samples.


 

Poultry

Guidelines for Escherichia coli Testing for Process Control Verification in Poultry Slaughter Establishments (1996)
Under the Pathogen Reduction/HACCP Regulation, poultry slaughter establishments are required to test carcasses for generic E. coli as a means of verifying process control. This document outlines sampling and microbial testing procedures that would meet this requirement.

FSIS Compliance Guideline HACCP Systems Validation (April 2015) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
This guidance document is designed to help very small meat and poultry plants meet the initial validation requirements in 9 CFR 417.4.

Meat and Poultry Hazards and Controls Guide (Mar 2018) 
FSIS developed this guide to help FSIS personnel to evaluate all aspects of an establishment's system for producing processed meat and poultry products.

 
Sanitation Performance Standards

Less than Daily Sanitation Procedures Compliance Guideline (Oct 19, 2009)
This guidance document was developed to help establishments that are considering or planning to implement less than daily (LTD) sanitation procedures.

 
Inspection requirements

Fact Sheet: Appealing Inspection Decisions | PDF
This document is designed to provide information to help small and very small plants understand the process of appealing inspection decisions made by FSIS personnel.

Compliance Guidelines for Use of Video or Other Electronic Monitoring or Recording Equipment in Federally Inspected Establishments (Aug 26, 2011) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese 
This guideline was written to provide information to industry on the use of video or other electronic monitoring or recording equipment to help it maintain compliance with federal regulations, including humane treatment of livestock and the use of good commercial practices in poultry.

"At Least Equal to" Guidelines for State Meat and Poultry Cooperative Inspection Programs (Nov 10. 2016)
This guideline provides information to State Cooperative Inspection programs on the criteria that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) uses to determine each year whether State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs are operating verifiably in accordance with requirements that are “at least equal to” the Federal inspection requirements. 

“At Least Equal To” Data System Guidance for State Cooperative Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) Programs Electing Not To Use Public Health Information System (PHIS)
Provides guidance to State Cooperative Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs electing to use a data system other than FSIS’s Public Health Information System (PHIS) for meeting the “at least equal to” data system essentials.

 
Slaughter Inspection

FSIS Compliance Guideline: Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection Microbiological Sampling of Raw Poultry  (Jun 2015) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
This guidance document is designed to help small and very small poultry slaughter establishments comply with the new microbiological sampling and analysis requirements that apply to all official poultry slaughter establishments, except for establishments that slaughter ratites.

Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection: Chilling Requirements (2014) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
This compliance guide contains information regarding how establishments producing ready-to-cook (RTC) poultry can meet the new chilling requirements by implementing former regulatory time and temperature provisions that the final rule on modernization of poultry inspection removed from 9 CFR 381.66 (b) or by following the time and temperature chilling procedures that FSIS approved under the Salmonella Initiative Program (SIP).

Compliance Guideline for Training Establishment Carcass Sorters in the New Poultry Inspection System (Revised Sep 2014)
This compliance guideline recommends training elements and post-mortem inspection standards that FSIS has found effective in training FSIS online inspectors to identify carcasses and parts exhibiting condemnable conditions that are unwholesome and unfit for human food.

Guidance for Determining Whether a Poultry Slaughter or Processing Operation is Exempt from Inspection Requirements of the Poultry Products Inspection Act (Updated Apr 12, 2006)
This guide provides assistance to producers or businesses in determining whether their slaughter or processing operations require United States Department of Agriculture or State inspection, as mandated in the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

Mobile Slaughter Unit Compliance Guide (May 24, 2010)
This guideline is intended for owners and managers of a new or existing red meat or poultry MSU who want their establishment to come under Federal inspection and continue operations in accordance with Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations

Minimizing the Risk of Campylobacter and Salmonella Illnesses Associated with Chicken Liver (Jul 2018)
FSIS is issuing this guideline to help FSIS-regulated establishments, retail food outlets, and foodservice entities mitigate the public health risks from chicken liver.

FSIS Salmonella Compliance Guidelines for Small and Very Small Meat and Poultry Establishments that Produce Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Products and Revised Appendix A (Jun 2017)
This guidance document is intended to assist small and very small meat and poultry establishments understand the regulatory requirements associated with safe production of ready-to-eat (RTE) products with respect to Salmonella and other pathogens.

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Stabilization (Cooling and Hot-Holding) of Fully and Partially Heat-Treated RTE and NRTE Meat and Poultry Products Produced by Small and Very Small Establishments and Revised Appendix B (Jun 2017) This guidance document is designed to help small and very small meat and poultry establishments that produce heat-treated (both fully and partially heat-treated) ready-to-eat (RTE) and not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) meat and poultry products that stabilize their products (by cooling or hot-holding) understand: 1) The regulatory requirements associated with stabilization (cooling and hot-holding); 2) The scientific support documents available to help develop a safe process and product; and 3) Recommended corrective actions in the event of a cooling deviation.

DRAFT Compliance Guideline for Controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter in Raw Poultry Fourth Edition (December 2015)
This guideline for poultry articulates how industry can meet FSIS requirements regarding control of food safety hazards.

Expert Elicitation on the Market Shares for Raw Meat and Poultry Products Containing Added Solutions and Mechanically Tenderized Raw Meat and Poultry Products (Feb 2012)

FSIS Compliance Guideline: Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection Microbiological Sampling of Raw Poultry  (Jun 2015) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
This guidance document is designed to help small and very small poultry slaughter establishments comply with the new microbiological sampling and analysis requirements that apply to all official poultry slaughter establishments, except for establishments that slaughter ratites.

“At Least Equal To” Compliance Guideline for State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) Programs for Laboratory Methods(Jun 2013)
This Compliance Guideline supplements the “At Least Equal To” Compliance Guidelines for State Meat and Poultry Inspection Programs. It specifically supplements the guidance material in Component 3 - Product Sampling, of the guideline.

  • FSIS Form 5720-14 (fillable PDF) - State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program Laboratory Quality Management System Checklist
  • FSIS Form 5720-15 - (fillable PDF) - Laboratory Method Notification Form

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Controlling Meat and Poultry Products Pending FSIS Test Results (Feb 1, 2013; PDF)
This guidance document has been developed to assist domestic establishments and importers of record comply with the Food Safety and Inspection Service's new policy that product FSIS tests for adulterants will not be allowed to move into commerce until acceptable results become available.

Establishment Guidance for the Selection of a Commercial or Private Microbiological Testing Laboratory (Revised Jun 2013)
This guidance document  is provided to establishments producing meat, poultry and processed egg products for use when they are selecting a commercial or private laboratory to analyze establishment microbiological samples.

  • Foodborne Pathogen Test Kits Validated by Independent Organizations | PDF
    FSIS is making available a list of test kits that have been validated for detection of relevant foodborne pathogens (i.e. Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, and Listeria spp. including L. monocytogenes).  These lists are intended to be informational and are not an endorsement or approval of any particular method, regardless of its inclusion in the list.

FSIS Guidance for Evaluating Test Kit Performance 
This guidance document is intended to assist the design of validation experiments for methods used to detect bacterial pathogens in matrices such as meat, poultry, and egg products, and environmental samples.


 

Ready-to-Eat

 
HACCP Guidelines

FSIS Compliance Guideline HACCP Systems Validation (April 2015) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
This guidance document is designed to help very small meat and poultry plants meet the initial validation requirements in 9 CFR 417.4.

Meat and Poultry Hazards and Controls Guide (Mar 2018) 
FSIS developed this guide to help FSIS personnel to evaluate all aspects of an establishment's system for producing processed meat and poultry products.

 
Sanitation Performance Standards

Less than Daily Sanitation Procedures Compliance Guideline (Oct 19, 2009)
This guidance document was developed to help establishments that are considering or planning to implement less than daily (LTD) sanitation procedures.

 
Inspection Requirements

FSIS Guideline for Determining Whether a Livestock Slaughter or Processing Firm is Exempt from the Inspection Requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (May 25, 2018)
This guideline is designed to help firms that slaughter livestock or process meat and meat products determine whether they are exempt from required Federal inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.

Fact Sheet: Appealing Inspection Decisions | PDF
This document is designed to provide information to help small and very small plants understand the process of appealing inspection decisions made by FSIS personnel.

Compliance Guidelines for Use of Video or Other Electronic Monitoring or Recording Equipment in Federally Inspected Establishments (Aug 26, 2011) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese 
This guideline was written to provide information to industry on the use of video or other electronic monitoring or recording equipment to help it maintain compliance with federal regulations, including humane treatment of livestock and the use of good commercial practices in poultry.

"At Least Equal to" Guidelines for State Meat and Poultry Cooperative Inspection Programs (Nov 10. 2016)
This guideline provides information to State Cooperative Inspection programs on the criteria that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) uses to determine each year whether State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs are operating verifiably in accordance with requirements that are “at least equal to” the Federal inspection requirements. 

“At Least Equal To” Data System Guidance for State Cooperative Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) Programs Electing Not To Use Public Health Information System (PHIS)
Provides guidance to State Cooperative Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs electing to use a data system other than FSIS’s Public Health Information System (PHIS) for meeting the “at least equal to” data system essentials.

FSIS Compliance Guideline: Controlling Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in Post-lethality Exposed Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Meat and Poultry Products (Jan 2014)
This compliance guideline provides specific recommendations that establishments producing post-lethality exposed ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry product may follow to meet the requirements of 9 CFR part 430, the Listeria Rule.

FSIS Scheduling Criteria for Routine Lm Risk-Based (RLm) Sampling Program (Mar 21, 2008)
FSIS provides the criteria used to identify establishments to be tested for Listeria monocytogenes in food contact, environmental, and product samples under the Routine Lm Risk-Based (RLm) Sampling Program.

Verification Procedures for the Listeria monocytogenes Regulation and Microbial Sampling of Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Products for the FSIS Verification - FSIS Directive 10240.4 (Feb 3, 2009)
This directive provides direction to CSIs regarding the implementation of the new RLm sampling program including the three projects, RLMCONT, RLMENVR, and RLMPROD, as part of Phase 2 of the Agency's overall L. monocytogenes risk-based verification testing program.

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Small and Very Small Plants that Produce Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Egg Products. (Draft Dec 2017)
This guidance document is designed to help small and very small plants producing ready-to-eat (RTE) egg products to meet the new regulatory requirements under the Egg Products Inspection Regulations proposed rule.

Compliance Guideline: Lebanon Bologna (Updated Jan 2013)
This guideline articulates how industry can meet FSIS expectations regarding the production of Lebanon bologna.

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Meat and Poultry Jerky Produced by Small and Very Small Plants (Aug 2014)
This guideline is designed to help small and very small meat and poultry estaablishments that manufacture jerky to identify the key steps in the jerky process needed to ensure safety; and the scientific support available to help develop a safe process and product.

FSIS Salmonella Compliance Guidelines for Small and Very Small Meat and Poultry Establishments that Produce Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Products and Revised Appendix A (Jun 2017)
This guidance document is intended to assist small and very small meat and poultry establishments understand the regulatory requirements associated with safe production of ready-to-eat (RTE) products with respect to Salmonella and other pathogens.

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Stabilization (Cooling and Hot-Holding) of Fully and Partially Heat-Treated RTE and NRTE Meat and Poultry Products Produced by Small and Very Small Establishments and Revised Appendix B (Jun 2017) This guidance document is designed to help small and very small meat and poultry establishments that produce heat-treated (both fully and partially heat-treated) ready-to-eat (RTE) and not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) meat and poultry products that stabilize their products (by cooling or hot-holding) understand: 1) The regulatory requirements associated with stabilization (cooling and hot-holding); 2) The scientific support documents available to help develop a safe process and product; and 3) Recommended corrective actions in the event of a cooling deviation.

 

“At Least Equal To” Compliance Guideline for State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) Programs for Laboratory Methods (Jun 2013)
This Compliance Guideline supplements the “At Least Equal To” Compliance Guidelines for State Meat and Poultry Inspection Programs. It specifically supplements the guidance material in Component 3 - Product Sampling, of the guideline.

  • FSIS Form 5720-14 (fillable PDF) - State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program Laboratory Quality Management System Checklist
  • FSIS Form 5720-15 - (fillable PDF) - Laboratory Method Notification Form

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Controlling Meat and Poultry Products Pending FSIS Test Results (Feb 1, 2013; PDF)
This guidance document has been developed to assist domestic establishments and importers of record comply with the Food Safety and Inspection Service's new policy that product FSIS tests for adulterants will not be allowed to move into commerce until acceptable results become available.

Establishment Guidance for the Selection of a Commercial or Private Microbiological Testing Laboratory (Revised Jun 2013)
This guidance document  is provided to establishments producing meat, poultry and processed egg products for use when they are selecting a commercial or private laboratory to analyze establishment microbiological samples.

Foodborne Pathogen Test Kits Validated by Independent Organizations | PDF
FSIS is making available a list of test kits that have been validated for detection of relevant foodborne pathogens (i.e. Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, and Listeria spp. including L. monocytogenes).  These lists are intended to be informational and are not an endorsement or approval of any particular method, regardless of its inclusion in the list.

FSIS Guidance for Evaluating Test Kit Performance 
This guidance document is intended to assist the design of validation experiments for methods used to detect bacterial pathogens in matrices such as meat, poultry, and egg products, and environmental samples.


 

Siluriformes

 
HACCP Guidelines

FSIS Compliance Guideline HACCP Systems Validation (April 2015) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
This guidance document is designed to help very small meat and poultry plants meet the initial validation requirements in 9 CFR 417.4.

 
Sanitation Performance Standards

Less than Daily Sanitation Procedures Compliance Guideline (Oct 19, 2009)
This guidance document was developed to help establishments that are considering or planning to implement less than daily (LTD) sanitation procedures.

 
Inspection Requirements

FSIS Guideline for Determining Whether a Livestock Slaughter or Processing Firm is Exempt from the Inspection Requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (May 25, 2018)
This guideline is designed to help firms that slaughter livestock or process meat and meat products determine whether they are exempt from required Federal inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.

Fact Sheet: Appealing Inspection Decisions | PDF
This document is designed to provide information to help small and very small plants understand the process of appealing inspection decisions made by FSIS personnel.

Compliance Guidelines for Use of Video or Other Electronic Monitoring or Recording Equipment in Federally Inspected Establishments (Aug 26, 2011) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese 
This guideline was written to provide information to industry on the use of video or other electronic monitoring or recording equipment to help it maintain compliance with federal regulations, including humane treatment of livestock and the use of good commercial practices in poultry.

“At Least Equal To” Compliance Guideline for State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) Programs for Laboratory Methods (Jun 2013)
This Compliance Guideline supplements the “At Least Equal To” Compliance Guidelines for State Meat and Poultry Inspection Programs. It specifically supplements the guidance material in Component 3 - Product Sampling, of the guideline.

  • FSIS Form 5720-14 (fillable PDF) - State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program Laboratory Quality Management System Checklist
  • FSIS Form 5720-15 - (fillable PDF) - Laboratory Method Notification Form

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Controlling Meat and Poultry Products Pending FSIS Test Results (Feb 1, 2013; PDF)
This guidance document has been developed to assist domestic establishments and importers of record comply with the Food Safety and Inspection Service's new policy that product FSIS tests for adulterants will not be allowed to move into commerce until acceptable results become available.

Establishment Guidance for the Selection of a Commercial or Private Microbiological Testing Laboratory (Revised Jun 2013)
This guidance document  is provided to establishments producing meat, poultry and processed egg products for use when they are selecting a commercial or private laboratory to analyze establishment microbiological samples.

Foodborne Pathogen Test Kits Validated by Independent Organizations | PDF
FSIS is making available a list of test kits that have been validated for detection of relevant foodborne pathogens (i.e. Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, and Listeria spp. including L. monocytogenes).  These lists are intended to be informational and are not an endorsement or approval of any particular method, regardless of its inclusion in the list.

FSIS Guidance for Evaluating Test Kit Performance 
This guidance document is intended to assist the design of validation experiments for methods used to detect bacterial pathogens in matrices such as meat, poultry, and egg products, and environmental samples.

 

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Establishments that Slaughter or Further Process Siluriformes Fish and Fish Products (Mar 2017) | Chinese | Thai (DOC) | Vietnamese
FSIS developed this compliance guideline to assist establishments that slaughter or further process Siluriformes fish and fish products in understanding and implementing their regulatory responsibilities.

Siluriformes Fish Import Labeling Requirements (9 CFR 557.14 and 557.15)


 

Swine

 
HACCP Guidelines

FSIS Compliance Guideline HACCP Systems Validation (April 2015) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
This guidance document is designed to help very small meat and poultry plants meet the initial validation requirements in 9 CFR 417.4.

Meat and Poultry Hazards and Controls Guide (Mar 2018) 
FSIS developed this guide to help FSIS personnel to evaluate all aspects of an establishment's system for producing processed meat and poultry products.

 
Sanitation Performance Standards

Less than Daily Sanitation Procedures Compliance Guideline (Oct 19, 2009)
This guidance document was developed to help establishments that are considering or planning to implement less than daily (LTD) sanitation procedures.

 
Inspection Requirements

FSIS Guideline for Determining Whether a Livestock Slaughter or Processing Firm is Exempt from the Inspection Requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (May 25, 2018)
This guideline is designed to help firms that slaughter livestock or process meat and meat products determine whether they are exempt from required Federal inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.

Fact Sheet: Appealing Inspection Decisions | PDF
This document is designed to provide information to help small and very small plants understand the process of appealing inspection decisions made by FSIS personnel.

FSIS Compliance Guide for a Systematic Approach to the Humane Handling of Livestock (Oct 23, 2013)
FSIS developed this guide to promote a systematic approach to achieve compliance with the 9 CFR Part 313 regulatory requirements for humane handling and slaughter of livestock.

Compliance Guidelines for Use of Video or Other Electronic Monitoring or Recording Equipment in Federally Inspected Establishments (Aug 26, 2011) | Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese 
This guideline was written to provide information to industry on the use of video or other electronic monitoring or recording equipment to help it maintain compliance with federal regulations, including humane treatment of livestock and the use of good commercial practices in poultry.

"At Least Equal to" Guidelines for State Meat and Poultry Cooperative Inspection Programs (Nov 10. 2016)
This guideline provides information to State Cooperative Inspection programs on the criteria that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) uses to determine each year whether State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs are operating verifiably in accordance with requirements that are “at least equal to” the Federal inspection requirements. 

“At Least Equal To” Data System Guidance for State Cooperative Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) Programs Electing Not To Use Public Health Information System (PHIS)
Provides guidance to State Cooperative Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs electing to use a data system other than FSIS’s Public Health Information System (PHIS) for meeting the “at least equal to” data system essentials.

This guideline is designed to assist all swine slaughter establishments, regardless of swine class to:

  • Develop a microbiological sampling plan;
  • Use microbial test results to assess their ability to maintain process control; and
  • Make process control decisions throughout the swine slaughter process.

Guideline for Training Establishment Sorters under the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (Sep 2019)
This guideline is designed to help establishments that choose to operate under the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS) train their employees to sort and remove animals affected with diseases or other conditions that would render them unfit for slaughter before FSIS ante-mortem inspection and to identify and remove defects on carcasses and parts before FSIS post-mortem inspection.

Compliance Guideline for Controlling Salmonella in Market Hogs (December 2013)
The first edition of the Compliance Guideline contains recommendations for controlling Salmonella in market hogs from pre-harvest through slaughter.

FSIS Salmonella Compliance Guidelines for Small and Very Small Meat and Poultry Establishments that Produce Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Products and Revised Appendix A (Jun 2017)
This guidance document is intended to assist small and very small meat and poultry establishments understand the regulatory requirements associated with safe production of ready-to-eat (RTE) products with respect to Salmonella and other pathogens.

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Stabilization (Cooling and Hot-Holding) of Fully and Partially Heat-Treated RTE and NRTE Meat and Poultry Products Produced by Small and Very Small Establishments and Revised Appendix B (Jun 2017) This guidance document is designed to help small and very small meat and poultry establishments that produce heat-treated (both fully and partially heat-treated) ready-to-eat (RTE) and not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) meat and poultry products that stabilize their products (by cooling or hot-holding) understand: 1) The regulatory requirements associated with stabilization (cooling and hot-holding); 2) The scientific support documents available to help develop a safe process and product; and 3) Recommended corrective actions in the event of a cooling deviation.

FSIS Guideline: Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection Developing Microbiological Sampling Programs in Swine Slaughter Establishments (Sep 2019)
This guideline is designed to help swine slaughter establishments (especially small and very small) meet the sampling requirements under the final rule to modernize swine slaughter inspection.

Expert Elicitation on the Market Shares for Raw Meat and Poultry Products Containing Added Solutions and Mechanically Tenderized Raw Meat and Poultry Products (Feb 2012)

“At Least Equal To” Compliance Guideline for State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) Programs for Laboratory Methods (Jun 2013)
This Compliance Guideline supplements the “At Least Equal To” Compliance Guidelines for State Meat and Poultry Inspection Programs. It specifically supplements the guidance material in Component 3 - Product Sampling, of the guideline.

  • FSIS Form 5720-14 (fillable PDF) - State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program Laboratory Quality Management System Checklist
  • FSIS Form 5720-15 - (fillable PDF) - Laboratory Method Notification Form

FSIS Compliance Guideline for Controlling Meat and Poultry Products Pending FSIS Test Results (Feb 1, 2013; PDF)
This guidance document has been developed to assist domestic establishments and importers of record comply with the Food Safety and Inspection Service's new policy that product FSIS tests for adulterants will not be allowed to move into commerce until acceptable results become available.

Establishment Guidance for the Selection of a Commercial or Private Microbiological Testing Laboratory (Revised Jun 2013)
This guidance document  is provided to establishments producing meat, poultry and processed egg products for use when they are selecting a commercial or private laboratory to analyze establishment microbiological samples.

Foodborne Pathogen Test Kits Validated by Independent Organizations | PDF
FSIS is making available a list of test kits that have been validated for detection of relevant foodborne pathogens (i.e. Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, and Listeria spp. including L. monocytogenes).  These lists are intended to be informational and are not an endorsement or approval of any particular method, regardless of its inclusion in the list.

FSIS Guidance for Evaluating Test Kit Performance 
This guidance document is intended to assist the design of validation experiments for methods used to detect bacterial pathogens in matrices such as meat, poultry, and egg products, and environmental samples.

FSIS Compliance Guideline for the Prevention and Control of Trichinella and Other Parasitic Hazards in Pork Products (May 2018)
This guideline is designed to help establishments, with a focus on small and very small establishments,understand available options that are effective for the prevention and control of Trichinella spiralis and other parasitic hazards in ready-to-eat (RTE) and not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) pork products.

 

Last Modified Sep 20, 2019