Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - 68

FOOD SAFETY

"free." That would put great burdens
on us. There also have been proposals
to allow custom plants that produce
products for their own use, to sell to
restaurants. No, I don't think people
would see that as a good move, taking
meat and poultry products out of
inspection for restaurants.
M+ P: What about interstate shipment
of poultry and meat products?
Kiecker: We have the Cooperative
Interstate Shipment program, which
allows state-appointed, federally
trained inspectors. Plants continue
under state inspection but adhere
to federal food safety standards.
Their products can be distributed
in interstate commerce, and they
can develop new markets for their
products. There are seven states
in this program of the 27 states in
state inspection. Some are in both.
"Same as" instead of "equal to" USDA
standards. We could adjust if stateinspected plants are selling online
outside the state.

M+P: Your predecessor, Carmen
Rottenberg, made modernization of
FSIS a priority at the agency. Are you
continuing that?
Kiecker: Yes, we're looking to provide
more help to small and very small
plants. As you know, there have been
concerns at these plants for many
years about the cost of overtime. It
just didn't start with COVID-19. But I
have concerns about making overtime

M+ P: What would you say your top
regulatory priorities in food safety are?
Kieker: Inspection modernization;
expansion of STEC sampling;
additional categories of performance
standards for pathogen reduction; more
micro-testing under our modernized
poultry and swine inspection systems;
and continue moving forward with
HACCP, more plant responsibility there,
and less "command and control."

The primary job of the Food
Safety and Inspection Service,
of which Paul Kiecker is now
Administrator, is to prevent
foodborne illness, protect public
health and modernize the meat
plant inspection system.

for ground beef, bench trim, and other
raw ground beef components wasn't
done because the agency needed to
expand laboratory capacity and evaluate
data from sampling raw beef trimmings.
Those additional products were already
being tested for E. coli O157:H7. We're
moving ahead with this expansion
because non-O157:H7 STEC is linked
to serious, life-threatening human
illnesses, including recent outbreaks
and a death. We've been behind on
the ground beef. We will respond to
comments and announce when we

68

MEAT+ POULTRY | 09.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

Photos: ┬ęBob Sims / Sosland Publishing Company

will start this additional sampling in a
Federal Register notice.

M+ P: Where do things stand with
Appendix A & B, the FSIS documents
plants can use as scientific support for
lethality and stabilization procedures?
Kiecker: When we did revised versions,
there were concerns from small and
very small plants. We are working on
coming up with a new comprehensive
version. In the meantime, plants can
use the older versions. At FSIS, we are
not in business to put people out of
business. Label approvals are down to
five to seven days.


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Meat+Poultry - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - September 2020

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Meat+Poultry - September 2020 - VDG1
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