Dear Editor,

As a former CFIA ( Canadian Food Inspection Agency) inspector, I have been following this story regarding the change in inspections on the hog plants with great interest. Change is hard but it doesn’t mean the job is eliminated. For the hog program to have the plant do the inspections is a good business move and it can free up the inspectors to focus more on other areas in the plant.

Canada has approved MPIP ( Modernized Poultry Inspection Program) and a recent hog modernized program. The plants had to go through a graduated process in order to enable full inspection by plant line workers. It still entails full inspection but hands off. An inspector shadows the workers and ensures all defects are detected.

The plant must maintain regular statiscally accurate sampling inspections for carcass defects using a coordinated statistical sample plan and the CFIA inspectors perform mirror inspections to verify the line is still operating with minimal defects.

I do not know if the USDA is tasked with approval and training for the independent plant inspections, but this method may be the best for both sides. Presence in the plants is still maintained and the inspectors can focus on other compliance verifications through the operations. The CFIA has CVS and SIP which is a structured program to inspect various prerequisites and critical areas based on the plants’ HACCP plans.

I do not know how the U.S. structures their inspections, but line efficiencies are needed in all types of slaughter facilities to minimize animal stress at slaughter and keep pathogen growth in check after product is processed

— Toni Allardyce-Harris

Editor’s note: We want to hear from our readers. Letters to the Editor can be submitted via the Contact Us link on our website. 

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety Website, click here.)