FSIS issued their 2014 Annual Performance Plan as a tool to document specific targets for 2014. In reviewing the plan for FSIS, it is clear that there is one main target for this food safety regulatory agency: Salmonella.
The plan contains eight “goals," and the steps that FSIS plans to take to meet these goals. Each of the eight key goals is addressed as to the specific actions to be taken and the expected results. It is organized in a few ways, but probably most easily viewed by FSIS Program Area.
Highlights from this year’s plan include FSIS’ intent to modernize poultry slaughter inspection, along with the idea of using a meat industry survey to develop economic analysis for a beef slaughter proposed rule consistent with the poultry slaughter modernization regulations.
That said, the focus is Salmonella. One FSIS action item is the completion of hazard analysis verification (HAV) and food safety assessment (FSA) procedures in at least 75 percent of the eligible comminuted poultry operations. The agency has also committed to evaluation of research and data on lymph nodes and institution of sampling of all raw beef for Salmonella. In addition, FSIS will develop verification procedures for sanitary dressing of hog carcasses, as well as assessing whether FSIS’ existing policies on Salmonella are being effectively implemented. Consumers will find initiatives associated with Salmonella as well. FSIS will work on ensuring consumers use thermometers continue to proactively change behavior.
It should be noted the entire plan is not limited to Salmonella. FSIS considers non-O157 STEC, humane handling, food security and other important issues. But no one will question the Agency priority when reviewing this plan, and that is the reduction of Salmonella in FSIS-regulated products.
Before joining OFW Law, Dr. Masters served as Acting Administrator and then Administrator for the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) from March 2004 through January 2007.