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'Limited' and 'Minimal' Meat Inspections Suspended

The Food Safety and Inspection Service will inspect all meat processing plants at least once a month.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service has suspended all "limited" and "minimal" inspection programs effective immediately. The agency will now inspect all processing establishments at least once during each shift that the establishment operates.

FSIS Notice 22-07, "Elimination of 'Minimal' and 'Limited' Inspection," instructs all district managers to "implement this clarified policy in an expeditious manner." The notice also officially cancels Part 6 of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Manual.

"Limited" and "minimal" inspection programs were initiated by the Agency in the 1970s due to staffing shortages. These programs were instituted at certain operations at certain qualified processing establishments, under which inspection was provided on a less than per shift basis. The changes come as FSIS, in the notice, acknowledges that these programs do not accomplish the agency's statutory obligation to visit each establishment at least once during each shift.

To see the notice, visit www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISNotices/22-07.pdf.

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