Food & Agriculture

Safe Food Coalition Asks for Check on Proposed Swine Slaughter Deregulation

Members of the Safe Food Coalition submitted the following comments in response to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS’s) proposal to eliminate rules requiring the cleaning of hog carcasses prior to incision. Contaminated pork represents a serious public health burden in the United States, causing over half a million cases of foodborne illness each year. Yet the agency does not purport to improve food safety with the proposed action, nor provide for any meaningful performance-based criteria by which to measure whether the action would end up increasing  foodborne illness risk for consumers. The Coalition comments recommend reforms including development of new Salmonella reduction performance standards for pork, and publication of the names of slaughterhouses that do not meet the standards, an approach that FSIS currently takes with poultry producers.

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