Turkey Industry Reiterates Support of USDA Modernizing Food Safety Inspection System

April 25, 2013
Washington, DC

USDA Proposed Poultry Slaughter Inspection Rule Is a Modern, Sensible Approach that Focuses On Public Health

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) reiterates its support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed new poultry inspection system, and views the proposed rule as the appropriate next step in protecting public health through modern, science-based food safety techniques.

“The proposed rule is a modern, sensible approach that will allow the food safety inspectors to focus on public health,” NTF President Joel Brandenberger said.  The proposed rule will lead to a revamped inspection system that allows the federal inspectors to shift to prevention-oriented inspection systems and redeploy its resources in a manner that better protects the public from foodborne diseases and makes our food supply even safer.”

Despite some misleading claims made in a recent media article, the turkey industry produces their many healthy and wholesome products only in response to customer demands.  Turkey is an affordable, safe source of protein that continues to be an important and delicious part of American meals.

The turkey industry has invested millions of dollars to implement the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) – the most modern meat inspection system in the world.  NTF supports USDA’s proposed rule because it will protect employee safety and create jobs.  After 13 years under the HACCP-based Inspection Models Project (HIMP), the data indicates no increase in worker injuries expected under the new system. In addition, turkey HIMP plants have reported worker injury rates well below the already low industry average.  While improving food safety is the primary concern, the proposed rule fosters the hiring of additional in-plant personnel in many regions.

NTF supports USDA’s ongoing efforts to improve food safety, and will continue making food safety a top priority to ensure the production of the highest quality, safest products possible.