News Feature | October 14, 2014

Inspector Clarifications Issued For NPIS Rollout

By Laurel Maloy, contributing writer, Food Online

FSIS New Poultry Inspection Clarification

The New Poultry Inspection System goes into effect on Oct 20, 2014. Processors will benefit from knowing what FSIS is telling its inspectors

The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is ensuring its inspectors are clear on what is expected of them. Full implementation of the Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection rules is imminent.  Processors and inspectors are gearing up for a smooth transition; however, it is not unusual for there to be some confusion as new regulations take the place of the old.

Two notices were recently issued by FSIS for Inspection Program Personnel (IPP), providing valuable information for processors:

  1. Notice 50-14. Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection: Verification of Online Reprocessing (OLR) and Offline Reprocessing (OFLR) Antimicrobial Intervention Systems : This notice regards amendment to 9 CFR 381.91. It permits poultry facilities to utilize approved OLR or OFLR antimicrobial-intervention systems in order to clean chicken carcasses accidentally contaminated with contents from the digestive tract. This does not apply to ratite facilities.  The notice includes tables with the list of approved OLRs and OFLRs, as well as the parameters for use. The approved OLR or OFLR procedures are allowed when incorporated into a facility’s Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan, its Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOP), and/or other prerequisite programs as allowed by 9 CFR 381.91 (b)(1) and (2).  The NPIS final rule removes the previous restrictions against using OLR. It also removes the requirement to use free available chlorine at a rate of 20ppm to remove visible fecal contamination by OFLR. Processing facilities will no longer need a waiver for already approved OLR and OFLR carcass cleaning.

Principles Of Hygienic Design Food Production In Sanitary Environments

Verification will be completed by Public Health Veterinarians (PHVs) or Inspectors in Charge (ICs) at poultry slaughter facilities. A Memorandum of Interview (MOI) will serve to document the facility’s knowledge and the verification of a facility’s food safety system.

  1. Notice 51-14. Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection: Change in Chilling Requirements for Ready-to-Cook Poultry:  This notice regards the means by which IPP will verify the efficacy of the OLR or OFLR in use in each facility. It also provides guidance on ensuring the facility is adequately meeting the regulatory requirements put in place. Scroll down to the last pages of the notice to view the two tables listing the OLR and OFLR Antimicrobial Intervention allowed, along with parameters for use. IPP will perform the OLR or OFLR functions as incorporated into a facility’s HACCP, Sanitation SOP or other allowable prerequisite program, as per the Public Health Information System (PHIS). Infractions will be documented in accordance with FSIS Directive 5000.1, Revision 4, Chapter V.

Neither of these notices are changes to the final rules; they are simply clarification for FSIS inspectors and will serve to ensure your facility is ready on Oct 20.