The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing a new requirement for the meat and poultry industry that, once enacted, will reduce the amount of unsafe food that reaches store shelves.
With the proposed requirement, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) would be able to hold products from commerce until FSIS test results for harmful substances are received. Currently, when FSIS collects a sample for testing, the sampled products are requested but not required to be held until test results are known. FSIS believes that this requirement will substantially reduce serious recalls for meat and poultry products.
FSIS inspects billions of pounds of meat, poultry and processed egg products annually. FSIS believes that 44 of the most serious recalls between 2007 and 2009 could have been prevented if this procedure had been in place.
President Obama's Food Safety Working Group (FSWG) developed three core principles to help guide food safety in the United States: prioritising prevention, strengthening surveillance and enforcement, and improving response and recovery. In its overall mission to ensure a safe food supply for the public, and in response to the FSWG, FSIS developed the test and hold requirement to ensure consumers are getting the safest food possible.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture