Salmonella Verification Sampling Program: Response to Comments on New Agency Policies and Clarification of Timeline for the Salmonella Initiative Program (SIP)
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responding to comments on a January 28, 2008 Federal Register notice (73 FR 4767- 4774), which described upcoming policy changes in the FSIS Salmonella Verification Program and outlined a new voluntary Salmonella Initiative Program (SIP) for meat and poultry slaughter establishments that agree to share internal food safety data with FSIS in order to receive waivers of regulatory requirements. SIP benefits public health in that it encourages slaughter establishments to test for microbial pathogens and to respond to the ongoing results by taking steps when necessary to regain process control and thus to minimize the presence of pathogens of public health concern. In addition, SIP enables FSIS to use establishment data to enhance public health protection. In this notice, the Agency is announcing several policy developments and changes regarding SIP. This notice also includes Agency responses to comments on SIP and on other issues discussed in the January 2008 Federal Register notice.