The committee provided FSIS with suggestions for improving its proposed changes for initial in-commerce surveillance activities. To provide context for the present report, by the In-Commerce II (I-C II) committee, those suggestions and FSIS’s responses are discussed in the next section.

FSIS asked that the second committee (I-C II) review and comment on new proposals for procedures to organize followup surveillance activities of in-commerce businesses when necessary after an initial surveillance visit. The specific request is presented in Box 1, and the official statement of task to the I-C II committee is presented in Appendix A. The agenda for the open session in which the task was presented to the committee is given as Appendix B, and copies of the PowerPoint presentations by FSIS staff members to the I-C II committee, showing their proposed approach for followup activities, are in Appendix C.

Box 1

Specific Request from FSIS

FSIS is requesting that the National Academies convene a committee to provide feedback on FSIS’ proposed guidance to its Investigators concerning the prioritization of followup surveillance reviews in cases where initial surveillance did not rise to the level of an investigation or enforcement action.


(From material provided to the committee by FSIS on June 29, 2009.)

BACKGROUND

Before commenting on the plan proposed by FSIS for followup surveillance, the present (I-C II) committee considers it appropriate to review the recommendations made by the I-C I committee about initial risk-based surveillance of in-commerce activities and the response by FSIS to them. Any strategy to revisit facilities for followup surveillance will be influenced by FSIS’s strategy for conducting initial in-commerce surveillance and by the findings of that activity.

Summary of the Report of the In-Commerce I Committee

Because it is impossible to carry out routine surveillance activities on all in-commerce business types and facilities with the existing resources, FSIS created a risk-based tier system for businesses considered critical, very important, and important to set priorities for visits to 13 business types. The National Academies was charged to examine the methods proposed by FSIS to inspect and regulate in-commerce activities using the proposed qualitative risk-based approach. To that end, the I-C I committee was formed to review and comment on the data, assumptions, risk factors, and methods that FSIS used to rank the relative public-health risks posed by the various types of in-commerce businesses that handle meat, poultry, and egg products and to review and comment on the agency's preliminary risk rankings of various business types.

In its letter report, the I-C I committee presented general comments and findings and made general and specific recommendations to help in the setting of priorities for surveillance



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