"USDA Overhauls Poultry-Inspection System to Better Fight Pathogens"

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled on Thursday the first major overhaul of the nation's poultry-inspection system in more than 50 years. It said the new system was part of an effort to better fight pathogens while placing more responsibility and trust on companies to protect the quality of their chicken and turkey.

The new inspection system, announced after years of intense debate, shifts much of the onus for visually inspecting and sorting carcasses and bird parts from the government to plant employees. The rules would reduce the number of USDA employees on evisceration lines—where workers or machines remove the internal organs of chickens and turkeys—to one from what is currently as many as four.

The USDA said that change would free up inspectors to focus more time ensuring plant employees are taking efforts to prevent contamination by pathogens such as salmonella and campylobacter. The new system requires measures to prevent such contamination, rather than just addressing contamination after it occurs, the agency said."

Kelsey Gee and Jesse Newman report for the Wall St. Journal July 31, 2014.


"New Rules Say Poultry Plants Can Conduct Own Checks" (New York Times)

"Reactions Vary to USDA’s Poultry Inspection Rule" (Food Safety News)

"USDA Announces 1st Update To Poultry Inspection Rules Since 1957" (McClatchy)

Source: Wall St. Journal, 08/01/2014