The safety of the foods produced in the United States is the responsibility of everyone who comes into contact with it, from the farm to the dining room table. No matter how effective one segment of the food industry is in ensuring a safe food product, that safety can be compromised by the next segment in the food chain. It is the job of municipal, county, state, and national government agencies to oversee food production, distribution, procurement, and preparation to ensure food safety. Of the foods produced in the United States, it is well recognized that the meat industry is one of the most highly regulated of all food industries. A total of nine government agencies [Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Packers and Stockyard Administration (P&SA), Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Consumer Product Safety Commission, Food and Nutrition Service, and the Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS)] serve as “watchdogs” to ensure meat and poultry presented to consumers is wholesome and safe. It must be recognized that the last line of defense is the consumer who has a distinct responsibility to handle foods in a safe manner. The government agency that plays the biggest part in overseeing the safe production of meat and poultry is the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (FSIS-USDA), which administers a comprehensive system of inspection laws to ensure that meat and poultry products moving in interstate and foreign commerce for use as human food are safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled.
KeywordsInspection System Poultry Product Meat Inspection Critical Control Point Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point
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