FSIS Administrator Wants Risk Ranking

Almanza says it would help focus attention where there is most risk.

The administrator for USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, Alfred Almanza, is calling for a ranking of the riskiest products. He believes such a ranking would help inspectors, lawmakers and food safety officials determine where to focus their attention. Almanza told a House Agriculture subcommittee, "When you look at product risk and you look at the risk ranking of where different products stand ... I think that's probably the key for the level of inspection, the amount of inspection, the intensity of the inspection necessary."

Almanza says a high-risk ranking should factor in the type of food, the risk of producing and manufacturing the product and how it is handled, especially once it leaves federally inspected or regulated establishments. He says that's certainly something that perhaps the food safety working group could do.

Last month, President Obama named a White House panel headed by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services to find ways to improve food safety.

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