The proposed rule would require regulated establishments to document each reassessment of their process control plans or HACCP plans.

FSIS Putting Working Group's Findings into Action

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service proposed a new food safety rule on Thursday that would implement a provision of the 2008 Farm Bill and carry out a priority for the Food Safety Working Group.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service proposed a new food safety rule on Thursday that would implement a provision of the 2008 Farm Bill and carry out a priority for the Food Safety Working Group, which is chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and works to upgrade the nation's food safety laws for the 21st Century. This proposal would require regulated establishments to notify FSIS promptly if an unsafe, unwholesome, or misbranded meat or poultry product has entered commerce; maintain procedures for the recall of meat and poultry products produced and shipped by the establishment; and document each reassessment of the establishment's process control plans or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans.

"One year ago, the president called on government to do more to ensure our food is safe, and we are working aggressively every day to improve the food safety system in the United States," said Vilsack. "The steps we are announcing today will help prevent foodborne illness, as well as speed our response when illnesses occur -- two goals of the Food Safety Working Group."

The working group announced its Key Findings on July 7, 2009. Representatives from all federal food safety-related agencies participate on the working group, including FSIS, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meeting regularly to discuss how producers, processors, retailers, consumers, and government can work together on food safety.

Comments regarding the rule are due by May 24 via www.regulations.gov; reference the Food Safety and Inspection Service and include the docket number FSIS-2008-0025.

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