Members of the meat and poultry industry can now begin to access the USDA's Public Health Information System. Initially, the online access will give the industry the ability to respond and view noncompliance records and file appeals. It will also give the industry the ability to view, export to a PDF and print reports of sampling results, noncompliance records and the establishment profile.
Al Almanza, administrator at the Food Safety and Inspection Service, told the audience at the National Turkey Federation’s annual convention in San Diego earlier this month, “The performance-based inspection system is one of the best things we have done in the agency in a long, long time.” When fully implemented, he said that the performance-based inspection system will create “a real-time exchange of data,” which will let plants know how they are doing relative to others. He said that as long as industry continues to “gather data and we are able to work together,” food safety will improve.
Participation in the Public Health Information System is voluntary. Implementation for the industry will be conducted in phases through a Web registration process. Establishments will receive a letter with the implementation schedule, as well as instructions on the Web registration process. Following is the schedule for when implementation will be available in certain districts:
- February 25, 2013 – Alameda, Calif.
- March 4, 2013 – Atlanta, Ga.
- March 11, 2013 – Chicago, Ill., and Dallas, Texas
- March 18, 2013 – Denver, Colo., Des Moines, Iowa, and all official import inspection establishments
- March 25, 2013 – Jackson, Mississippi, and Philadelphia, Penn.
- April 1, 2013 – Raleigh, N.C., and Springdale, Ark.