New tools may mean more rules for meat, poultry

Meat and poultry processors could face more stringent enforcement action if USDA adopts new tools currently under consideration. USDA said it may require mandatory notification when a federal establishment has reason to believe that meat or poultry has been adulterated or misbranded. In addition, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said USDA is considering a request for authority to impose civil penalties after notice in writing and continued lack of compliance.

“We have taken numerous actions to reduce pathogens. However, we need to modernize our regulatory tools to make additional progress,” said Veneman.

USDA will upgrade existing training programs by integrating scientific and technical advances, including HACCP validation, into its programs. In addition, USDA is creating collaborative teams to develop new decontamination strategies.

NFPA cries foul on GOA report

A GAO report urges FDA and USDA to seek additional mandatory food security requirements on food manufacturers, but a leading food industry group is crying foul. The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) says the industry is currently cooperating with the two agencies to improve food security and, unless it can be shown that these voluntary steps are not working, new regulations are not needed.