July 21, 1998



OAKLAND, CA -- Taking into account the concerns of National Meat Association and other industry groups, the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced it will provide its meat inspectors with the technical training they need to ensure food safety under the new science-based inspection system. Previously, FSIS inspectors were only going to be given regulatory enforcement training, called Just-in-Time, that would not have provided them with crucial technical and science-based information essential to understanding and implementing the HACCP inspection system.

"The industry is pleased that FSIS has decided to do this," said NMA Communications Manager Jeremy Russell. "Only joint training could go farther to helping establish the necessary common ground that is critical for clear communication during the beginning stages of HACCP."

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) inspection model is a science-based system designed to improve the checks and controls in plants where meat and poultry are processed. Large firms went on-line with HACCP in January of this year, medium sized plants are required to begin in January of 1999, and small plants will begin in 2000.

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.