FSIS urges HACCP reassessments

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The Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is encouraging slaughterers of young calves, including those labeled as veal calves, to reassess their food safety plans with respect to residues and the use of unapproved new animal drugs. The FSIS is concerned about the illegal and widespread use of drug implants in young calves, and believes this reflects a change in conditions that may affect the hazard analysis or alter Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plans of establishments that slaughter young calves.

In March 2004, FSIS inspectors identified drug implants in young cattle that were being presented for slaughter as veal during routine antemortem and postmortem inspections. Subsequently, FSIS officials learned from industry sources that the use of such growth-promoting implants was widespread throughout the veal industry.

In a notice published in the Dec. 23, 2004, Federal Register, the FSIS says there is a need for such firms to reassess their HACCP systems because of this practice. Establishments should make appropriate changes to HACCP plans or Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures to prevent and control identified potential food safety hazards.

Individuals who wish to comment on the notice in the Federal Register, which is available at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/browse.html, must submit comments by Feb. 22, 2005. Written comments should be submitted to the FSIS Docket Room, Reference Docket #04-017N, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 102 Cotton Annex, 300 12th Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-3700.

For further information, contact technical analysis staff Carole Thomas in the FSIS Office of Policy, Program, and Employee Development at (202) 205-0210.