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USDA/FSIS RIN: 0583-AD32 Publication ID: Fall 2010 
Title: New Poultry Slaughter Inspection 
Abstract: FSIS is proposing a new inspection system for young poultry slaughter establishments that would facilitate public health-based inspection. This new system would be available initially only to young chicken slaughter establishments. Establishments that slaughter broilers, fryers, roasters, and Cornish game hens (as defined in 9 CFR 381.170) would be considered as "young chicken establishments." FSIS is also proposing to revoke the provisions that allow young chicken slaughter establishments to operate under the current Streamlined Inspection System (SIS) or the New Line Speed (NELS) Inspection System. The proposed rule would establish new performance standards to reduce pathogens. FSIS anticipates that this proposed rule would provide the framework for action to provide public health-based inspection in all establishments that slaughter amenable poultry species. Under the proposed new system, young chicken slaughter establishments would be required to sort chicken carcasses and to conduct other activities to ensure that carcasses are not adulterated before they enter the chilling tank. 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 9 CFR 381.66    9 CFR 381.67    9 CFR 381.76    9 CFR 381.83    9 CFR 381.91    9 CFR 381.94   
Legal Authority: 21 USC 451 et seq   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: Because of the risk to the public health associated with pathogens on young chicken carcasses, FSIS is proposing a new inspection system that would allow for more effective inspection of young chicken carcasses, would allow the Agency to more effectively allocate its resources, would encourage industry to more readily use new technology, and would include new performance standards to reduce pathogens. This proposed rule is an example of regulatory reform because it would facilitate technological innovation in young chicken slaughter establishments. It would likely result in more cost-effective dressing of young chickens that are ready to cook or ready for further processing. Similarly, it would likely result in more efficient and effective use of Agency resources.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The Secretary of Agriculture is charged by the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA--21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.) with carrying out a mandatory poultry products inspection program. The Act requires post-mortem inspection of all carcasses of slaughtered poultry subject to the Act and such reinspection as deemed necessary (21 U.S.C. 455(b)). The Secretary is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act (21 U.S.C. 463(b)). The Agency has tentatively determined that this rule would facilitate FSIS post-mortem inspection of young chicken carcasses. The proposed new system would likely result in more efficient and effective use of Agency resources and in industry innovations.

Alternatives: FSIS considered the following options in developing this proposal: 1) No action. 2) Propose to implement HACCP-Based Inspection Models Pilot in regulations. 3) Propose to establish a mandatory, rather than a voluntary, new inspection system for young chicken slaughter establishments. 4) Propose standards of identity regulations for young chickens that include trim and processing defect criteria and that take into account the intended use of the product. 5) Propose a voluntary new inspection system for young chicken slaughter establishments and propose standards of identity for whole chickens, regardless of the products' intended use.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The proposed performance standards and the implementation of public health-based inspection would likely improve the public health. FSIS is conducting a risk assessment for this proposed rule to assess the likely public health benefits that the implementation of this rule may achieve. Establishments that volunteer for this proposed new inspection system alternative would likely need to make capital investments in facilities and equipment. They may also need to add labor (trained employees). However, one of the beneficial effects of these investments would likely be the lowering of the average cost per pound to dress poultry properly. Cost savings would likely result because of increased line speeds, increased productivity, and increased flexibility to industry. The expected lower average unit cost for dressing poultry would likely give a marketing advantage to establishments under the new system. Consumers would likely benefit from lower retail prices for high quality poultry products. The rule would also likely provide opportunities for the industry to innovate because of the increased flexibility it would allow poultry slaughter establishments. In addition, in the public sector, benefits would accrue to FSIS from the more effective deployment of FSIS inspection program personnel to verify process control based on risk factors at each establishment.

Risks: Salmonella and other pathogens are present on a substantial portion of poultry carcasses inspected by FSIS. Foodborne Salmonella cause a large number of human illnesses that at times lead to hospitalization and even death. There is an apparent relationship between human illness and prevalence levels for salmonella in young chicken carcasses. FSIS believes that through better allocation of inspection resources and the use of performance standards, it would be able to reduce the prevalence of salmonella and other pathogens in young chickens.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/00/2011    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Dr. Daniel L Engeljohn
Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development
Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Room 402 Cotton Annex Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 349-E JWB,
Washington, DC 20250
Phone:202 205-0495
Fax:202 720-2025

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