USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today issued new guidelines for food companies to provide industry with reference material on best practices for responding to customer complaints of foreign material and misbranded meat and poultry products.

FSIS said it developed this document in response to an increase in the number of recalls of meat and poultry products adulterated with foreign materials.  The agency said it specifically developed the guidelines to address foreign material customer complaints, but establishments can apply the information to other customer complaints of adulterated or misbranded products in commerce.  The guidelines contain details around reporting, substantiation and investigation, notification procedures, and corrective actions.

“There has been a significant increase in focus over the past several years by both FSIS and the industry on foreign material,” noted NCC Senior Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Ashley Peterson, Ph.D.  “NCC, along with other meat and poultry associations, worked collectively to develop a series of best practices that we are pleased are now linked to in these guidelines.  These best practices, among others, include: consumer complaint handling, response procedures, and documentation; investigation and risk analysis procedures; and notification processes.  We look forward to continuing to work with FSIS and our members to further reduce foreign material contamination in poultry products.”

The new guidelines can be accessed by clicking here. FSIS will accept comments on the Draft Guidelines for 60 days.

 

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