On Jan. 6, the Federal Register published a new guidance document, Compliance Guidelines for Controlling Salmonella in Market Hogs, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for review, comment, and implementation by the industry.

The guidance provides information on best practices that may be applied at a hog slaughter facility to prevent, eliminate, or reduce levels of Salmonella on hogs at all stages of slaughter and dressing, according to FSIS officials. The agency is issuing this guideline pursuant to the agency’s Salmonella Action Plan, because pork has recently been implicated in a number of outbreaks of salmonellosis. The plan lists a number of actions FSIS intends to take to reduce Salmonella-related illnesses from FSIS-regulated products, including pork products.

This guide represents the agency’s current thinking, and FSIS encourages hog slaughter establishments to begin using it. FSIS is providing 60 days for public comment, and the guidance document may be updated in response to the comments that FSIS receives. Comments on the guidance may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, regulations.gov (use Docket No. FSIS-2014-0002-0001), or sent by mail to:

Docket Room Manager, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163B, Washington, DC 20250-3700.