WASHINGTON – USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will fully implement the donning and doffing requirements for inspectors’ lunch period beginning Aug. 28, relays the National Chicken Council’s Aug. 19 edition of its Washington Report. FSIS field supervisors were informed Aug. 19 to be sure to contact establishment management to remind them of the implementation date.

The lunch period as defined by FSIS regulations is an authorized duty-free interruption in the inspector’s tour of duty once it begins. As a result, doffing of required gear needs to occur before the lunch period begins and donning of required gear needs to occur once the duty-free lunch period is over.

FSIS said that slaughter operations will need to address the time required for on-line inspection personnel to conduct doffing and donning, walking and related activities surrounding the lunch period and may elect to make adjustments to minimize the amount of time spent in such activities surrounding the lunch period. For example, FSIS said an establishment might install racks for doffing and donning of required gear for use by inspection program personnel during the lunch period, closer to the slaughter or evisceration line.