Proposed Changes to Hog Inspections

Proposed Changes to Hog Inspections

Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett
Colorado's Pork Producer Council may have a new agenda item when it meets February 22nd in Denver.

The USDA has announced proposed changes to federal meat inspection regulations to establish a new voluntary inspection system for market hog slaughter establishments.

Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg made the announcement.

"By allowing flexibility and innovation, especially with all the technological advances that we're seeing in the pork industry, we are allowing the establishment to really take ownership of the entire process."

Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro and Louise Slaughter are concerned about the changes.

Delauro, Chair of the House Food Safety Caucus, said she strongly supports modernizing our food safety system but, modernization should not occur at the expense of public health, worker safety, or animal welfare. She adds the available evidence suggests that these changes will undermine food safety.

Congresswoman Slaughter a microbiologist and Ranking member on the Rules Committee said the proposal allows corporations to determine their own line speeds and fails to mandate proper training despite a history of poor internal audits, as well as, on-going microbial contamination and worker safety issues. This plan casts further doubts on our government's commitment to food safety."

Colorado ranks 12th to 15th in the nation in Pork Production.

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