September 21, 2005 – A new set of industry best practices for holding tested meat and poultry products has been developed and released by eight trade associations.

The associations that developed the new best practices include: the American Association of Meat Processors, American Meat Institute, Food Products Association, National Chicken Council, National Meat Association, National Turkey Federation, North American Meat Processors Association and Southwest Meat Association. The project was facilitated by the International HACCP Alliance.
The document was designed to detail best practices that can be used throughout the food production system to ensure that products being tested for pathogens or other adulterants are held until results are received. The document outlines key issues to assist plants in developing plant-specific procedures, and covers both raw and ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.
General points covered in the “best practice” document include: communication with inspection personnel; test and hold planning; physical control of the products held; limited physical space; maintaining control of products being held; products with limited shelf-life; production lots and raw materials; filling orders; and recordkeeping. Also included are lot identification logs, a checklist for holding products and a worksheet to use in meetings with USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) personnel.

To obtain a copy of “Industry Best Practices for Holding Tested Products,” visit


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Jeremy Russell
National Meat Association
(510) 763-1533
[email protected]