A 2014 Government Accountability Office audit of the USDA’s food safety and inspection service recommended improving on farm practices to reduce packages that contaminate processed meat and poultry.
“This is an area in which FSIS does not actually have on farm or pre-harvest jurisdiction. We don’t regulate them on farms. That was Carmen Rottenberg, the USDA’s acting deputy undersecretary for food safety.
“What we can do is incorporate any available pre-harvest-related research where there is published literature, we can incorporate that into our guidelines.”
Rottenberg says this is how FSIS and meat and poultry processors can work together to help reduce pathogens like salmonella that make people sick.
“At FSIS we have jurisdiction for the slaughter and processing operations, but the on-farm component is an important component when looking at pathogens and pathogen control by the industry.”