FSIS Key Achievements From 2017

January 9, 2018
Kerry Lengyel

Food and Safety Inspection Service investigators and researchers work to ensure that the food we—and our pets and livestock—eat is safe. These were the organization’s key achievements in 2017.

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) does all it can to protect public health, prevent foodborne illness, and promote confidence in the US food supply—and 2017 was no different.

“FSIS’ dedicated public servants take their public health mission seriously and work tirelessly to prevent foodborne illness,” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg. “The US food safety inspection system is the most reliable and trusted in the world and we will continue to earn that trust by protecting public health and modernizing systems and processes.”

FSIS highlighted several achievements they had throughout 2017.

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Foodborne Illness

  • FSIS continued to sample poultry carcasses to establish new pathogen reduction standards for both Salmonella and Campylobacter in comminuted poultry and chicken parts.
  • FSIS continued to sample raw beef to determine the presence and levels of Salmonella in 5 types of processed pork products.

Collaboration

  • FSIS enhanced coordination among federal foodborne outbreak detection and response agencies.
  • FSIS ensured the roles and responsibilities of the different federal agencies are clearly defined and well-integrated.
  • FSIS enhanced processes to stop foodborne outbreaks rapidly and communicating food safety system gaps identified during investigations to inform efforts to prevent future outbreaks.

Modernization

  • FSIS introduced whole genome sequencing to allow the agency to accurately identify and respond to outbreaks.

Siluriformes Inspection

  • Inspection of Siluriformes fish (catfish) was transitioned from the FDA to FSIS. In the 2017 fiscal year, FSIS removed more than 715,000 pounds of adulterated or ineligible imported Siluriformes product.

Foreign Oversight

  • FSIS completed ongoing equivalence verification audits of 17 countries to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Four billion pounds of meat and poultry products were re-inspected by FSIS in 2017.

In 2017 alone, FSIS inspected more than 155 million head of livestock and 9.45 billion poultry carcasses; and conducted 6.9 million food safety and food defense procedures across 6500 regulated establishments.