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Food Safety News

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68 Members of Congress Ask Vilsack to Withdraw Poultry Inspection Rule


A bipartisan group of 68 members of Congress wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday, asking him to suspend action on the proposed Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection rule, which is based on the HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP). “While we strongly support modernizing our food safety system and making it… Continue Reading

The Hard Truth About Authentic Modernization of Poultry Inspection



A healthy progression of events is occurring in the world of food safety. There are specific issues being debated over the Modernization of Poultry Slaughter proposal. The scientific community is zeroing in on specific strains of pathogens. Media and consumer groups are focusing on antibiotic resistance. Industry and labor groups are talking about ergonomic safety…. Continue Reading

100-Plus Groups Ask Obama to Ditch New Poultry Rules

Poultry processing

More than 100 organizations signed a letter sent to President Obama on Thursday asking the White House to withdraw the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed rule on the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection.” The organizations signing on to the letter cover a range of interests, from organic food retailers such as Hummingbird Wholesale to groups… Continue Reading

Debate Grows Over Poultry Worker Safety Under Proposed HIMP Regulations


Last week, organizations representing consumers and farm workers convened in Washington, D.C., to speak with members of Congress and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials about the threat they feel new poultry plant regulations pose to both plant worker safety and food safety as a whole. The USDA regulations of concern are part of HIMP, or the… Continue Reading

Poultry Processing Line Speeds: How Fast is Too Fast?



There are many arguments, pro and con, about efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to renovate its meat processing inspection process. In my last editorial, I outlined the origin and pitfalls of FSIS’ proposal to extend the decade-old HACCP Inspection Models Project (HIMP) pilot program into plants nationwide…. Continue Reading

The HACCP Inspection Models Project Has More Problems Than Solutions



The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) intends to implement a sweeping and total change to its food safety program by drastically modifying carcass-by-carcass inspection and reducing the government surveillance of meat and poultry safety. This has become known as the HACCP Based Models Project, or “HIMP.” FSIS has been trying… Continue Reading

FY 2014 Appropriations Bill Includes Directives for USDA, FDA


Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees released their consolidated appropriations bill for FY 2014 on Monday night, and the House of Representatives passed it with bipartisan support on Wednesday. It is also expected to pass the U.S. Senate when it comes to a vote by the end of this week. The $1.1-trillion omnibus bill provides… Continue Reading

HIMP Debate Sneaks Into FY 2014 Budget Negotiations for USDA, FDA


Members of the Safe Food Coalition and the Worker Health and Safety Coalition wrote to members of Congress this week, asking them not to reduce the budget for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service and to remove language from the funding bill that urges the agency to move forward with its proposed HACCP-based… Continue Reading

New Acting Food Safety Under Secretary Speaks on HIMP

Meat industry trade publication Meatingplace is publishing an interview series with Brian Ronholm, new Acting Under Secretary of Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The interview focuses on the proposed poultry slaughter program known as HIMP, or HACCP-based Inspection Model Program. Implementing HIMP would mean that chicken evisceration line speeds would increase from… Continue Reading

FSIS Salmonella Action Plan Criticized for HIMP Emphasis


Food-safety advocates are praising the U.S. Department of Agriculture for releasing its Salmonella Action Plan while also criticizing it for not going far enough in reducing the estimated 1.3 million illnesses caused by the pathogen each year. Much of the concern over the plan regards the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection” proposal, which the plan names… Continue Reading