During the course of inspections and followup enforcement actions, FSIS collects a large volume of food-safety–related data, some of which are available to the public via the Internet. The data are usually posted in an aggregated form (for example, by geographic region, pathogen, or product type), but FSIS is considering providing the public with access to the data in a disaggregated form, that is, establishment-specific data. The present report examines important issues for consideration by FSIS as it deliberates on posting establishment-specific data. A detailed description of the statement of task, the study rationale, and the committee’s approach to the study are described in the next sections.
FSIS asked the National Research Council to conduct a study and convene an ad hoc committee to evaluate the effects of making establishment-specific data publicly available on the Internet. The specific statement of task, developed with input from the National Research Council Standing Committee on the Use of Public Health Data in FSIS Food Safety Programs, is as follows:
A study committee will examine the potential food-safety benefits and other consequences of making establishment-specific data sets publicly available on the Internet. For each type of establishment-specific data set provided to the committee, the study will