• Last year, we reported that USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service intends to move forward with plans to modernize swine slaughter inspections by way of a “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. The rule could potentially lead to an increase in U.S. hog slaughter capacity. The rule also calls for certain food safety responsibilities to be shifted from federal inspectors to packing plant workers and could thus lead to faster pork production lines.
  • This week, the White House Office of Management of Budget (OMB) cleared the rule. OMB’s approval is the last step in the rule-making process before the Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection Rule is finalized for publication in the Federal Register.
  • Although some pushback is expected from food and worker safety advocates, the “Modernization of Pork Slaughter” rule – which bears many similarities to the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection” rule – is anticipated to ultimately become law. (As our readership will recall, food and worker safety advocates met with OMB officials in 2012 seeking to upend USDA’s efforts to implement the poultry rule which has since become law). We will, of course, continue to keep an eye on any developments related to the “Modernization of Pork Slaughter” rule as they unfold and report them to you here.