WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (U.S.D.A.'s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (F.S.I.S.) has announced the compliance guide for mobile slaughter units is available. The document presents recommendations and is not a regulatory requirement.

There are currently five F.S.I.S.-inspected red meat mobile slaughter units in the U.S. The agency plans to post this compliance guide on its
Significant Guidance Documents web page.

"U.S.D.A. is excited to offer this help to small producers and encourages establishments who own or manage mobile slaughter units to use this guidance document to help meet food safety regulatory requirements," said Jerold Mande, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. "Food must be safe, regardless of where it is produced, and F.S.I.S. has worked with mobile unit operators to develop inspection procedures tailored to their needs."

A self-contained slaughter facility, a mobile slaughter unit can travel from site to site. Such units can help producers meet consumer demand for locally grown and specialty products and can serve multiple small producers in areas where slaughter services might be unaffordable or otherwise unavailable. The units are part of the U.S.D.A.'s 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' initiative.

According to F.S.I.S., the Mobile Slaughter Use Compliance Guide is intended for owners and managers of a new or existing red meat or poultry mobile slaughter unit who want their establishment to come under federal inspection and continue operations in accordance with F.S.I.S. regulations. Mobile slaughter unit operators are subject to the same regulatory requirements that apply to a fixed (brick and mortar) facility.

The guide also includes the procedures necessary to receive a federal grant of inspection, unique concerns that may arise with mobile slaughter units and links to regulatory requirements and resources.

F.S.I.S. is seeking comments for this compliance guide and will consider all comments received. Comments will be accepted from May 25 to July 26 and should be submitted to http://www.regulations.gov (follow the online instructions at that site for submitting comments) or by mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROMS, and hand- or courier-delivered items to: Docket Clerk, U.S.D.A., F.S.I.S., Room 2-2127, George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Mailstop 5474, Beltsville, MD 20705-5474.

All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the agency name and docket number F.S.I.S.-2010-0004. Comments received in response to this guide will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to www.regulations.gov.

Contact Mark Cutrufelli at (770) 304-8919 or by e-mail atMark.Cutrufelli@fsis.usda.govfor more information about mobile slaughter units.