The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) recently highlighted the agency’s key achievements in 2022 that further protected public health through food safety.
Reducing Illnesses Linked to Salmonella in Poultry
After announcing it would reevaluate its approach to controlling Salmonella in poultry, FSIS invested in data gathering and outreach to develop a proposed regulatory framework to reduce Salmonella infections linked to poultry products.
In 2022, in addition to proposing a new framework, FSIS:
- Announced its intention to declare Salmonella an adulterant in not ready-to-eat breaded and stuffed chicken products
- Developed a risk profile and two quantitative risk assessments
- Sought guidance from one of the agency’s advisory committees
- Held a public meeting to discuss the proposed strategy and take comments from the public.
State Inspection Programs
State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs are an integral part of the nation’s food safety system. MPIs prevent supply chain bottlenecks within a state, ensuring American families have access to safe food.
States may operate their own MPI programs under a cooperative agreement with FSIS through which they must enforce requirements that are at least equal to those imposed under the agency’s governing acts. The program is especially helpful to small meat and poultry processors in building their local and state marketplaces. Product produced under state inspection programs is limited to intrastate commerce unless a state opts into an additional program, the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Program.
In 2022, Arkansas and Oregon joined the state MPI program, and FSIS finalized a CIS agreement with Montana. At the close of the year, 29 state inspection programs were operating and 10 states were participating in the CIS program.
Collaboration with Other Agencies and Public Health Partners
In 2020, FSIS and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance data-sharing and coordination of critically important public health activities. FSIS also updated its MOUs with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve coordination on regulatory efforts with dual jurisdiction establishments, as well as with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding worker safety.