USDA ‘s meat and poultry inspection unit ends a busy year
American livestock and poultry production ended a record-setting fiscal year, ending Sept.30.
Slaughter operations for both livestock and poultry under the watchful eyes of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service kept pace with higher prices being their reward.
The FSIS has released its Quarterly Enforcement Report for the final period of the fiscal year 2021. FSIS meat and poultry inspectors provided oversight for the slaughter of 39.9 million livestock and 2.464 billion birds, primarily chickens, and turkeys.
Fourth-quarter production for livestock was off only a tad, while poultry set another record. For the year, 165 4 million livestock carcasses passed inspection. And more than 8.5 billion poultry carcasses passed examination.
With more than 6,200 FSIS meat and poultry inspectors assigned to provide inspection services at processing facilities around the country, not all pass.
The FSIS condemned 254,787 head of livestock and 10.7 million birds during the 2021 fiscal year.
FSIS administrative actions against large establishments producing the most product are the front-line for the agency’s enforcement actions. And during the final period, the FSIS brought actions against only ten large establishments. Those included:
- Don Miguel Foods in Dallas received a warning on Sept. 9 about Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) and Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP). A Notice of Intended Enforcement (NOIE) letter was issued along with a deferral.
- FSIS issued an NOIE on Sept 15 to Foster Poultry Farms in Livingston, CA, for SSOP, HACCP, and Sanitation performance standards (SPS).
- Colton, CA-based Hawa Corp, was suspended on July 7 for violating regulatory control action. The suspension was in abeyance the next day.
- JBS in Tolleson, AZ, violated a regulatory control action. A July 1 suspension was moved to abeyance the next day.
- An NOIE was sent to Pilgrim’s Pride in Nacogdoches, TX, for HACCP violations. A July 22 suspension was deferred on July 30.
- Inhuman treatment(INH) during slaughter resulting in a one-day suspension was brought against Seaboard Foods in Guymon, OK.
- A similar INH violation was brought against Seaboard Triumph Foods in Sioux City, IA. FSIS sent an NOIE on Sept. 26.
- Two large Smithfield facilities had violations during the quarter. Smithfield Fresh Meats in Smithfield, VA, and Smithfield Packaged Meats in Sioux Falls, SD. In Virginia, the frim violated regulatory controls, suspended, reinstated, and repeated the violation. In South Dakota, it was suspended from Sept. 4 to 8 for inhumane treatment (INH)
- Finally, Union City, CA-based Sterling Foods was suspended from July 6 to 8 for sanitation violations.
The FSIS also logged violations against tiny establishments. Those administrative actions, along with civil and criminal courts, are used to enforce agency regulations.
The FSIS took an adjudicatory action on Sept 10 against Stratford, OK-based Jerky Dudes Inc. The agency filed a motion to adopt a proposed Default Decision and Order to continue the suspension of inspection services indefinitely.
Jerky Dudes failed to make a timely response to an administrative complaint from the FSIS, and the company then wanted an expedited hearing.
In a criminal action, Michael A. Quattrucci and Joel Quattrucci, both with Rhode Island Beef and Veal, were indicted on multiple violations of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA).
The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island Opened the indictment. It charged the Quattruccis with using the USDA mark of inspection without authorization and falsely representing that beef was federally inspected when it was not.
Michael and Joel Quattrucci are facing a jury trial. It was set to begin in December but has been rescheduled for February 2022.
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