The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) has released its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2023–2026. The FSIS Strategic Plan is the foundation document for both the long range and day-to-day operations of the agency.
Goal 1: Prevent Foodborne Illness and Protect Public Health
Three strategic goals have been identified in the plan. The first goal, “Prevent Foodborne Illness and Protect Public Health,” focuses directly on FSIS’ public health mission and its activities. The desired outcomes of Goal 1 are to prevent adulteration and misbranding, as well as to limit foodborne illnesses that occur because of FSIS-regulated products. Objectives identified by FSIS under Goal 1 include:
- Strengthen compliance with food safety statutes and regulations
- Achieve pathogen reduction
- Assure labeling is truthful and not misleading
- Strengthen food safety practices throughout the supply chain
- Enhance collaborative response to foodborne illness outbreaks and other public health incidents
- Raise consumer awareness of food safety.
Goal 2: Transform Inspection Strategies, Policies, and Scientific Approaches to Improve Public Health
The second goal, “Transform Inspection Strategies, Policies, and Scientific Approaches to Improve Public Health,” ensures that FSIS continues to improve how the agency conducts food safety activities. The desired outcomes of Goal 2 are to improve food safety through the adoption of innovative approaches and technologies, and to optimize data use at every level of agency decision-making. Objectives identified by FSIS under Goal 2 include:
- Advance and adopt innovative regulatory policies and inspection verification procedures
- Foster the adoption of advanced scientific techniques
- Improve the integrity, accessibility, and utility of data
- Strengthen data analyses and evaluations
- Optimize the design of sampling programs for decision-making.
Goal 3: Achieve Operational Excellence
The third goal, “Achieve Operational Excellence,” recognizes that having a strong foundation through internal FSIS functions is necessary to provide the support the agency needs to meet the first and second goals. The desired outcomes of Goal 3 are to sustain and advance an adaptable, high-performing, and engaged workforce, as well as to optimize service delivery. Objectives identified by FSIS under Goal 3 include:
- Expand recruitment and increase retention for mission-critical positions
- Enhance employee training and professional development
- Ensure equal opportunity, civil rights, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the work environment
- Enhance effectiveness and efficiency of key business procedures
- Improve customer service
- Transform business infrastructure and information technology (IT).
FSIS will implement the Strategic Plan by using its performance management framework, which includes monitoring and reporting processes supported by the agency’s enterprise governance process. FSIS will regularly track and monitor progress, ensure FSIS meets intended targets, and make timely and necessary adjustments to key activities or approaches.