USDA launches toll-free help desk

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the opening of its new small plant help-desk.

This will provide information for operators of small and very small meat, poultry and processed egg products establishments seeking help. The help-desk also will provide assistance to state and local food regulatory agencies – FSIS' partners in keeping meat, poultry and egg products safe for consumers.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service was committed to providing assistance to businesses of all sizes that provide American consumers with access to a safe and healthy food supply, said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Jerold R. Mande. The small plant help-desk would help the development of small, local producers by offering a one-stop shop for questions about how to make sure their meat, poultry and processed egg products are safe, wholesome and properly labelled.

The new help-desk will support USDA's “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative by helping small processors to reduce the time and expense of dealing with agency requirements. More information on the "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative can be found at: www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer

The FSIS small plant help-desk will serve as a "one-stop shop" for plant owners and operators with questions. More than 90% of the 6,000 plants inspected by FSIS are small or very small. FSIS staff will assess callers' requests and provide information and guidance materials that meet their needs. In situations where the answer is not readily available, the staff will research the issue and follow-up with the caller.
stats