R-CALF USA has recommended to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack that USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service consider a fundamental revamp, or a complete abandonment, of its style of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. In a letter, R-CALF USA wrote that they are dismayed that the agency's increased validation demands are being focused primarily against the processing plants further downstream, and primarily at small meat processors rather than at large slaughter plants.
Central to R-CALF USA's food safety beliefs is that corrective actions must be implemented at the source of contaminated meat, rather than at destination plants. The organization says it is greatly concerned the agency's increased focus will not only create budgetary concerns that will remove the majority of small plants from federal and state inspection, but also will simultaneously insulate the true source of contaminated meat from adequate agency oversight.
According to the organization, large slaughter plants primarily produce carcasses, trimmings, and boxed beef, necessitating only three areas to validate. Small plants with substantially less sales revenues will be burdened with enormous increases in microbial testing expenditures, which their revenues cannot sustain.