The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on August 21 released its compliance guidelines for training poultry processing carcass sorters in the new poultry inspection system. The new guidelines are developed to help poultry slaughter establishments train employees to conduct the carcass and associated viscera sorting activities that are required under the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS).

Under the NPIS, poultry slaughter establishment personnel are required to sort carcasses and remove unacceptable carcasses and parts before the birds are presented to the FSIS online carcass inspector. FSIS believes that training of sorters is vital to ensure they are able to properly perform their duties.

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Training program elements

The compliance guideline recommends training elements and post-mortem inspection standards that FSIS has found effective in training online inspectors to identify carcasses and parts exhibiting condemnable conditions that would make the poultry meat unfit for human consumption.

FSIS recognizes that a single training method may not be applicable to all establishments and recommended that individual poultry establishments design its own training programs. FSIS further recommends the following types of training as effective elements of a sorter training program: classroom, wet lab, on-the-job training, follow-up sessions and continuous monitoring.

Public comment sought by FSIS

The FSIS is seeking public comment on the compliance guidelines regarding any of its aspects. FSIS will update the guidelines in response to any comments that it receives as needed. The public comment period will last until October 21.