Farmscape for June 21, 2018
The National Pork Producer's Council says planned changes to the USDA's Swine Inspection System will allow government meat inspectors to intensify their focus on issues related to food safety and animal care.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to expand a pilot project which will allow U.S. pork processing plants to implement a modified meat inspection system.
Dr. Liz Wagstrom, the Chief Veterinarian with the National Pork Producers' Council, says the new system will allow USDA inspectors to focus on animals coming into the plant and making sure animal care and handling rules and food safety rules are being followed.
Clip-Dr. Liz Wagstrom-National Pork Producers' Council:
In the United States every packing plant has a USDA inspector or inspectors in it every day.
Currently, under the old system, some of those inspectors many have been doing things like standing on the line and looking at things that don't relate to food safety.
What the new inspection system allows is we'll still have inspectors in the plant, probably the same number of inspectors, but they get to spend more focus on food safety and some of that mechanical sorts of activities that were being done by inspectors can be done by the plants.
So the plant is going to present for inspection those carcasses that they have already determined are the carcasses that they have already determined that they want to go into retail meat.
The ones that may have defects, that may have bruises, may have already been trimmed by the time they get to that end USDA inspector.
We think it will allow the plants to become more effective.
It will allow the inspectors to focus on the food safety mission as well as on the front end on that animal handling and care coming into the plant.
Dr. Wagstrom notes the new inspection system has been determined to offer a safely profiled product but if a packing plants prefers to retain the existing inspection system it will be able to do so.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork