Health & Medical

FSIS reports few infractions at the nation’s largest meat operations

FSIS reports few infractions at the nation’s largest meat operations thumbnail

Infractions resulting in administrative actions against large animal establishments by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service during the past quarter fit on just one page.

Just nine large establishments made the list, a number that is consistent with recent reports. Most meat slaughtered and processed in the United States comes from its largest establishments.

FSIS’s quarterly enforcement reports indicate that large establishments are doing better these days, or they may be just lucky. Nevertheless, the trouble large plants have gotten into for the April to June quarter was limited.

FSIS took action against the EDDY Packing Company in Yoakum, TX, for a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) violation or, in USDA-speak, a Noncompliance Record (NR). An attached Notice of Intended Enforcement (NOIE) was deferred.

Livingston, CA-based Foster Poultry Farms was written up for HACCP, Sanitation Performace Standards (SPS), and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP). It got a deferral, too, but also got a one-day closure on April 11, 2022, and a warning letter.

In Budd Lake, NJ, Fratelli Beretta USA was also the subject of FSIS administrative actions for SSOP, HACCP, and SPS infractions, also deferred.

JBS Plainwell Inc, located in Plainwell, MI, was suspended for inhumane treatment during slaughter (INH) on March 22, 2022. And four other large establishments made the list solely because of their INH practices. They are:

+Smithfield Farmland, Denison, IA

+Prestage Foods of Iowa, Eagle Grove, IA

+OWB Packers, Brawley, CA

+Long Praire Packing,Long Praire, MN

One-day closures were handed out to four of those with inhumane treatment violations. JBS and Prestage Foods escaped that punishment

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One-day suspensions for Prestige and Smithfield were held “in abeyance.”

National Beef in Liberal, KS, also had a HACCP violation and was the subject of a “withholding action” on March 23, 2022. The quarterly enforcement report did not provide any further details of the infraction.

Every quarter, FSIS inspection program personnel perform thousands of inspection procedures in federally inspected establishments to determine whether they comply with regulatory requirements.

Each time inspection program personnel make a noncompliance determination, they complete a Noncompliance Record (NR).

An NR is a written record that documents noncompliance with FSIS regulations. An NR notifies the establishment of their disobedience and orders action to remedy the situation and prevent its recurrence.

NRs reflect a variety of noncompliance determinations, ranging from non-food safety issues to severe breakdowns in food safety controls.

When noncompliance occurs, or an establishment fails to prevent contaminated products from being produced or shipped, FSIS takes further action.

Administrative actions for large, small, and very small establishments are contained in the FSIS Quarterly Report. The full report summarizes enforcement actions by FSIS to ensure that meat, poultry, and egg products reaching consumers are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled.

Although this report focuses on enforcement actions taken, FSIS says the information is only one aspect of the agency’s mission to protect public health through food safety and food defense by achieving compliance with laws and regulations.

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