USDA Compliance Guide to Help Reduce Foodborne Illness

Posted on April 26, 2011 by


Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture´s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) provided a set of draft guidelines to help small and very small meat and poultry manufacturers reduce harmful bacteria in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods. This guide sets out standard regulatory procedures and will help establishments understand how best to operate to ensure a safer quality product.

The guidelines spell out FSIS´ recommended best practices when it comes to producing food items that consumers usually do not cook before eating.

In light of several illness-related recalls in 2010, FSIS has improved guidelines for ready–to–eat meat and poultry products with special emphasis on the causes of these recalls. In some instances pathogens were introduced to the products after it had undergone processing. This compliance guide illustrates measures to help prevent contamination in these types of situations, such as the application of a spice or sauce to products after cooking or curing.

The draft guide does not represent new requirements for the meat and poultry industry but will assist small and very small manufacturers in meeting current FSIS regulations.

How does this help consumers? It is not regulatory which means that establishments are not required by law to follow the guideleines. The guide could mean absolutely nothing for consumers, since it is not mandated. Foodborne illness is such a widespread problem that this compliance guide should be a law and not juist a “guide”.

Food recalls can be fould at

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Posted in: Family safety