WASHINGTON – The US Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on May 11 a proposal to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to repeal what is considered to be a redundant regulatory requirement for hog slaughter establishments. The proposed rule would remove the stipulation that hog carcasses need to be cleaned before incising.

Hog facilities are required to have a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system that identifies potential biological, chemical or physical hazards, and the controls to prevent, reduce or eliminate those hazards at specific points in the process.

“It’s a practice of good government to regularly review regulations on the books, especially older ones, to ensure they are still relevant and achieving their intended purpose,” said Carmen Rottenberg, acting deputy undersecretary for food safety. “Removing outdated and duplicative regulations, such as this one, will continue to be our focus as we seek to streamline our regulations and get them in line with HACCP principles.”

The FSIS said that the regulation is no longer needed because other regulations require the sanitary handling and preparation of carcasses, organs and parts. Also, the agency said this regulation required hog carcass cleaning to be done at a certain point in the process instead of allowing facilities to clean the carcass at the point that makes the most sense based on the configuration of the establishment.

Under this proposal, FSIS inspectors will continue to verify that establishments’ HACCP plans are effective in controlling, reducing, or eliminating hazards at all control points in the production process.

Public comment for the rule will be available once it is published in the Federal Register.

Visit the FSIS website here for more information on where to leave a comment.