AMI Concerned about USDA Listeria Guidelines

26 November 2012, at 11:44am

US - AMI is urging USDA to clarify the purpose of its latest compliance guideline for Listeria monocytogenes control.

In comments to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) about a newly released compliance guideline for Listeria monocytogenes control in post-lethality ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, AMI urged the agency to clarify the purpose of the document and to work in a collaborative fashion with the industry to refine it in the same way that government and industry collaborated around the earlier Listeria monocytogenes control rule that has enhanced food safety and public health so significantly.

AMI expressed concern that the compliance guide was issued as a Notice to inspection personnel with a 60 day comment period, during which time inspectors are using the guide. AMI’s concerns are exacerbated by some of the errors included in the guide, which are documented in a six page appendix.

In addition, the Institute urged the agency to include in the guidelines language previously included in an agency constituent update, which said that the revised guide “Was not driven by any one incident, because percent positive rate has been decreasing in FSIS products, and there have been no major outbreaks from ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products. However, the guidelines were revised as part of FSIS efforts to continuously assess and improve the effectiveness of policy documents.“

Complete comments may be viewed here.