The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced the availability of updated guidance for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems validation. In addition, a public meeting will be held on June 25, 2013 to review changes to the guidance announced in this notice and to take comments. The public meeting will also be available by teleconference.

Following the public meeting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will accept written comments until July 25, 2013. Given the extensive opportunity for comment on the guidance, however, the Agency believes that very few, if any, issues remain in this proceeding.

The guidance document is designed to help very small meat and poultry establishments meet the initial validation requirements in 9 CFR 417.4. In particular, the guidance covers the difference between initial validation and ongoing verification; how to identify scientific support documents; what are critical operational parameters and how to identify them in the scientific support; how to demonstrate that the critical operational parameters are being met during initial validation; and how an existing establishment can incorporate this guidance into their HACCP system.