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USDA Wants timely alerts for meat problems.

While selling adulterated meat and poultry products already is illegal, withholding information from FSIS when contaminated products enter the market is not.

Now, USDA is proposing a new regulation requiring companies to alert the government if contaminated or mislabeled meat or poultry products get into the market, and USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has published a notice of proposed rule as part of a public comment period lasting until May 24.

The required information on any suspect product would need to include the product name, any code or lot numbers on the individual packages or cases, and the type and size of the packages.

Companies would be required to notify FSIS "within 48 hours of learning or determining that an adulterated or misbranded product received by or originating from the establishment has entered commerce." FSIS is specifically asking for comment on whether 48 hours is an appropriate length of time.

The 2008 farm bill requires FSIS to adopt a mandatory reporting regulation. USDA says it is also developing the rule in response to the recommendations of President Obama's Food Safety Working Group.
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Publication:The Food & Fiber Letter
Date:Apr 5, 2010
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