[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 15 (Monday, January 25, 1999)]
[Page 3678]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-1614]



Food Safety and Inspection Service
[Docket No. 98-066N]

In-Distribution Inspection Pilot Test Project; Report

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is making 
available for comment a draft paper describing a project that will test 
the feasibility of using FSIS inspectors in food safety activities 
outside of federally inspected plants. This In-Distribution Inspection 
Pilot Test Project is part of the FSIS HACCP-Based Inspection Models 

DATES: To receive full consideration, comments should be received by 
February 24, 1999.

ADDRESSES: The document Report on the In-Distribution Inspection Pilot 
Test Project may be viewed at the FSIS Docket Room, Room 102 Cotton 
Annex Building, 300 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700. An 
electronic version of the document is available on-line at FSIS's 
homepage at http://www.fsis.usda.gov. Written comments on the document 
may be sent in triplicate to FSIS Docket Clerk, DOCKET #98-066N, Room 
102 Cotton Annex Building, 300 12th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia F. Stolfa, Assistant Deputy 
Administrator, Office of Policy, Program Development and Evaluation, 
Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Washington, DC 20250-3700; (202) 205-0699.



    The In-Distribution (ID) Inspection Pilot Test Project discussed in 
the report being made available is part of the HACCP-based Inspection 
Models Project. In a June 1997 Federal Register Notice, FSIS requested 
public comments on the design and development of new inspection models 
for livestock and poultry slaughter and processing in a HACCP 
environment (62 FR 31553). The notice summarized recommendations by the 
National Academy of Sciences and the General Accounting Office that 
FSIS reduce its reliance on organoleptic (sensory) inspection, shift to 
inspection systems based on risk, and redeploy its resources in a 
manner that better protects the public from food-borne illnesses. To 
accomplish these objectives, inspection models must be developed that 
incorporate inspection procedures consistent with the pathogen 
reduction and HACCP systems rule. The HACCP-Based Inspection Models 
Project is designed to develop new approaches to inspection in plants 
slaughtering young, healthy, and uniform animals.
    The In-Distribution part of the Inspection Models Project explores 
the possibility of redeploying some inspection resources from these 
plants in ways that will enhance food safety protection all along the 
farm-to-table continuum. Under provisions of the Federal Meat 
Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), 
FSIS has authority to regulate the production, sale, transportation, 
and storage of meat and poultry food products. Traditionally, the 
Agency has assigned the great majority of its resources to inspection 
activities within livestock and poultry slaughter and processing 
plants. Consistent with its modernization and farm-to-table 
initiatives, FSIS intends to redistribute resources to more efficiently 
and effectively verify that the industry meets its responsibility to 
produce, store, and distribute safe and wholesome products. The In-
Distribution Pilot Test will help the Agency determine the feasibility 
of significantly increasing the frequency of certain tasks that are now 
performed outside of federally inspected plants. The in-distribution 
pilots also will explore how new activities can address food safety 
hazards and other consumer protection issues, such as economic 
adulteration or improper labeling, in regard to the distribution of 
meat and poultry products out of plants into distribution channels, 
storage, retail food stores, restaurants, commercial kitchens, hotels, 
and other institutions.
    The paper Report on the In-Distribution Inspection Pilot Test 
Project is intended to inform project participants and the public of 
the Agency's views on this subject. The paper is available for review 
at the location indicated above in ADDRESSES.

    Done at Washington, DC, on: January 14, 1999.
Thomas J. Billy,
[FR Doc. 99-1614 Filed 1-22-99; 8:45 am]