whose purpose is to provide an interim means of addressing the problem until a more comprehensive policy can be created (FSIS, 2007).

The statutes underlying FSIS’s responsibility for ensuring compliance with federal food-safety regulations require that FSIS inspection personnel be present on the premises of all facilities that produce meat, poultry, or processed egg products. FSIS inspection personnel must be present at slaughter facilities at all times during their operations. FSIS inspection personnel must be present at processing facilities one time during a day on which meat and poultry products are processed. If an inspector observes noncompliance issues during his or her routine inspection activities, the following enforcement process is followed:

  • An inspector-in-charge (IIC) informs the facility of noncompliance with a regulation by issuing a noncompliance report (NR).
  • Facility management is notified by the IIC that its products will not be given the “mark of inspection” until inspection personnel can make the determination that the products are not adulterated. Inspection Program Personnel have the authority to retain products at the establishment, or reject equipment for use, until they can make such a determination.
  • On a planned basis and when there is an indicated cause, District Offices (DO) assign Enforcement, Investigation, and Analysis Officers (EIAO) to conduct Comprehensive Food Safety Assessments at establishments and document any regulatory or statutory instances of noncompliance found, following which, the DO will initiate appropriate enforcement actions up to the withdrawal of an establishment’s grant of inspection.

Every facility is advised to address an NR promptly through corrective or preventive action or submission of an appeal. Failure of a facility to comply with a regulation despite notice and guidance from FSIS can result in the issuance of a notice of suspension that will apply to the entire facility or parts of the facility in question (FSIS, 1998). Figure 1-1 depicts the FSIS regulatory framework.

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