Meat Industry Petitions HACCP Regulations

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The USDA-FSIS is accepting comments on a petition submitted by trade associations to amend sections of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point regulations.

The petition was signed by the American Meat Institute, American Association of Meat Processors, National Chicken Council, National Food Processors Association, National Meat Association, National Turkey Federation, and North American Meat Processors, and is dated Dec 30, 1999.

It requests that the FSIS amend sections of the HACCP regulations to increase the effectiveness of the HACCP system and to make the regulations more consistent with the HACCP principles published in 1997 by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiologic Criteria for Food.

Concerns described in the petition and FSIS questions posed for comment can be viewed at Commenters should address the following FSIS questions about the petition:

  • The industry petition relies mainly on the NACMCF document and does not provide any data or examples to support its request. Is there any information that would support taking any of the actions requested in the petition?
  • Would amending 9 CFR 417.2(a) in the manner suggested in the petition result in regulations that provide the level of public health protection required by the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act?
  • Should the FSIS consider regulatory modifications that would acknowledge the prerequisite programs concept of the NACMCF?
  • Do FDA regulations, such as the Good Manufacturing Practices regulations, offer an approach that the FSIS should consider? How would such an approach fit within the HACCP concept? How would the FSIS implement such an approach?
  • What will be the effects of making FSIS and FDA HACCP regulatory requirements dissimilar?
  • Should the changes suggested in the industry petition be considered in light of the views expressed on HACCP by Codex and by other countries?

The FSIS published the final rule "Pathogen reduction: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point systems" in the July 25, 1996 Federal Register. The FSIS was aware of the major changes plants would be required to make, and therefore, phased the implementation of the rule over a three-year period, ending Jan 25, 2000.

Comments must be submitted in triplicate by July 14 to USDA, FSIS Docket Room, Docket No. 00-014N, Room 102 Cotton Annex, 300 12th St SW, Washington, DC 20250-3700. Additional information is available from Philip Derfler, Deputy Administrator, Office of Policy, Program Development, and Evaluation, FSIS, USDA; phone, (202) 720-2709.