January 16, 2018

CFIA Completes Audit on U.S. Meat Inspection Equivalency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has completed an audit of the equivalency of the U.S. meat inspection program. The audit was conducted in February 2013 and was a routine ongoing equivalence verification audit. Government officials make sure that the U.S. meat inspection system is equivalent to Canada’s.

usdaartCFIA inspected three beef, two pork, and three poultry slaughter establishments, as well as four meat processing establishments producing Ready-to-Eat meat products. Inspectors also visited two government offices and one government laboratory.

The audit found that USDA-FSIS’s food safety system is “performing as intended in an adequate manner”. The system meets the requirement for all six components. But two establishments had problems that would have required delistment if the issues were not addressed in a timely manner. The problems were corrected within 30 days from the date of the audit. Those issues “indicate a need for improvement of USDA-FSIS’s oversight related to sanitation and animal welfare requirements” according to the report.

The problems and issues found during the audit included HACCP implementation in establishments, implementation of animal welfare requirements, policies that control Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in Ready-to-Eat meat products, and policies related to the control of Salmonella in non-heat treated Ready-to-Eat products. The report stated that some items need “particular attention from FSIS”. The U.S. must address animal welfare requirements for poultry and pork, ante-mortem inspection procedures for poultry, implementation of FSIS requirements for validation of reduction of Salmonella, and HACCP requirements and implementation in FSIS regulated establishments.

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