The Poultry Science Association has announced its support of a U.S. Department of Agriculture proposal to update federal inspection procedures in poultry processing facilities in the U.S. The proposed changes will modernize the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s approach to young chicken and turkey slaughter inspection by focusing inspection resources on the areas of the poultry production system that pose the greatest risk to food safety, according to the USDA.
The proposed changes have been designed, says the USDA, to ensure that “all [Food Safety and Inspection Service] inspection activities will focus on critical food safety tasks to ensure that agency resources are tied directly to protecting public health and reducing foodborne illnesses.” In addition, the plan will replace a number of outdated regulatory requirements with “more flexible and effective testing and process control requirements” and mandate that all poultry processing facilities ensure that their operating procedures prevent contamination in the production process and provide supporting data to Food Safety and Inspection Service personnel.
“We applaud the USDA dedicating more resources to food safety," said Dr. S. F. Bilgili, a professor in Auburn University’s Department of Poultry Science and a past president of the Poultry Science Association. "Technology has changed. The organoleptic inspection system introduced in the 1950s was relevant then, but not today. While the details will of course need to be worked out, the global changes that the USDA has proposed — making the entire approach to poultry processing inspections more efficient, science-based and consumer-safety oriented — are heading in the right direction.”