FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2000
TEXAS LITIGATION RESCUES HACCP
OAKLAND, CA – National Meat Association is encouraged that the United States District Court in Dallas, Texas, has enjoined the way in which the United States Department of Agriculture has been enforcing its Salmonella performance standard for Ground Beef. The Court’s action provides an opportunity for microbiological testing to become a truly effective part of the HACCP food safety system. NMA participated in this litigation as an amicus curiae because the flawed enforcement standard used by USDA has undercut HACCP based inspection and compromised food safety..
The Salmonella performance standard which has now been enjoined by the Federal Court attempted to measure compliance in a beef grinding plant at a point where there are no related control measures which the processor can use to come into compliance. The judge recognized this when he pointed out that USDA and the consumer amici admitted that grinders have no means to remove Salmonella from meat.
"NMA entered this case in order to work towards fair and workable science-based HACCP," said Rosemary Mucklow, NMA Executive Director. "With this decision, we look forward to working with USDA to develop workable scientific standards for meat."
National Meat Association raised concerns about the Salmonella performance standard long before the Texas litigation occurred. Its leaders are prepared to meet with USDA officials to discuss ways in which appropriate control measures for Salmonella should be applied, and to work with USDA to develop performance measurements to show that reductions can be achieved.
National Meat Association is a non-profit trade association representing meat packers and processors, as well as equipment manufacturers and suppliers who provide services to the meat industry. The association, with over 600 members throughout the United States, includes membership in Canada, Australia and Mexico.