Food Safety and Inspection Service – Inspection and Enforcement Activities At Swine Slaughter Plants

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 17, 2013

Food Safety and Inspection Service — Inspection and Enforcement Activities At Swine Slaughter Plants Audit Report 24601-0001-41, 05/14/2013

  • “The Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) enforcement
    policies do not deter swine slaughter plants from becoming repeat violators of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA). As a result,
    plants have repeatedly violated the same regulations with little or no consequence. We found that in 8 of the 30 plants we visited, inspectors did not always examine the internal organs of carcasses in accordance with FSIS inspection requirements, or did not take enforcement actions against plants that violated food safety regulations. As a result, there is reduced assurance of FSIS inspectors effectively identifying pork that should not enter the food supply. We also found FSIS could not determine whether the goals of a pilot program — Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) – based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) — were met because FSIS did not adequately oversee the program. In the 15 years since the program’s inception, FSIS did not critically assess whether the new inspection process had measurably improved food safety at each HIMP plant, a key goal of the program. Finally, we found that FSIS inspectors did not take appropriate enforcement actions at 8 of the 30 swine slaughter plants we visited for violations of the Humane Method of Slaughter Act (HMSA). We reviewed 158 humane handling noncompliance records (violations) issued to the 30 plants and found 10 instances of egregious violations where inspectors did not issue suspensions. As a result, the plants did not improve their slaughter practices, and FSIS could not ensure humane handling of swine.”

  • See also USDA Inspector General Reveals Food Safety Breakdowns At Hog Plants Using Privatized Inspection Model
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