The USDA announced on Tuesday a final rule to modernize the pig slaughter check. For the first time in over 50 years, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has upgraded inspections at pig slaughterhouses to protect public health and enable food safety innovations.
The last rule is the culmination of a science-based and data-driven rule-making process. According to Agriculture Secretary Sonya Perdue, the rule is based on improvements in food safety made in 1997 after the USDA introduced a preventive control system for the industry.
"This regulatory change allows us to guarantee food safety while eliminating outdated rules and allowing companies to innovate," Perdue said in a statement.
The rule provides for new microbial testing requirements that apply to all pig slaughterhouses, proving that they control pathogens throughout the slaughter system. In addition, FSIS is modifying its meat inspection rules to create a new system of inspection for market pigs, called the New pig slaughter inspection system (NSIS).
FSIS will require all pig slaughtering establishments to develop written plans for sanitary conversion and to apply microbial sampling to monitor process control for enteric pathogens that may cause nutritional diseases. The final rule also allows market pigs to choose whether they will work at NSIS or continue to work under traditional inspection, the USDA said in a press release.
"We applaud the USDA for introducing a new verification system that encourages investment in new technologies while ensuring the safe delivery of healthy American pork," said David Hering, president of the National Pork Producer Council Lillington, North Carolina, "The US pork production system is the envy of the world because we are constantly applying new practices and technologies while improving our safety, quality and consistency. and a new inspection system codifies the progress made in the law, reflecting the industry of the 21
NSIS, which was piloted at five pork processing plants, was developed over many years of research and evaluation and recently received the approval of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians, highlighting the strong science-based approach used in the design of the program.
"The American industry has long been a world leader in offering the highest quality, safest and most affordable pork to consumers here at home and abroad. We are proud of our record and welcome this program to further modernize our production process, "said Hering.
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