FSIS to Publish Location-Specific Food Safety Data for Meat, Poultry, and Egg Facilities
The project is intended to promote transparency and improve food safety in processing facilities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced that it will soon make available food safety data organized by slaughter and processing facility in the United States.
The agency believes that the release of this data will allow consumers to make more informed choices, motivate individual establishments to improve performance, and lead to industry-wide improvements in food safety by providing better insights into strengths and weaknesses of different practices.
"FSIS' food safety inspectors collect vast amounts of data at food producing facilities every day, which we analyze on an ongoing basis to detect emerging public health risks and create better policies to prevent foodborne illness," said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza in a written statement. "Consumers want more information about the foods they are purchasing, and sharing these details can give them better insight into food production and inspection, and help them make informed purchasing decisions."
FSIS will share the processes employed by each facility, providing more detail than is currently available in the FSIS directory. Additionally, the agency will release results for listeria monocytogenes and salmonella contamination in ready-to-eat (RTE) and processed egg products.
FSIS employs roughly 7,500 food safety inspectors who work in more than 6,000 meat, poultry, and processed egg facilities across the country and more than 120 ports of entry every day. Over the past seven years, the agency has taken an increasingly data-driven approach to identifying and preventing food safety concerns, and the data these men and women collect in regulated facilities every day have made it possible for FSIS to implement significant food safety changes since 2009. This new approach led to a 12 percent drop in foodborne illness associated with FSIS-regulated products from 2009 to 2015.
The information will be available to consumers at Data.gov.