• On January 19, 2018, USDA released a proposed rule called the “Modernization of Pork Slaughter” rule. The new rule – which has garnered significant industry support – aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal inspection process for pork and to allow for the rapid adoption of new food safety technologies in pork slaughter. Under the proposed rule, hog slaughter plants could voluntarily join a new inspection system whereby establishment personnel would be responsible for sorting and removing unfit animals and identifying defects before FSIS inspection. FSIS inspectors who currently perform this function would be moved to other areas of the plant focused more on food safety. FSIS online inspectors would be reduced to a maximum of three per line per shift. The rule also specifically proposes to lift caps on line speeds in processing plants.
  • FSIS recently announced that it is extending the comment period for the proposed rule to May 2, 2018 (The original deadline to submit comments was April 2, 2018).