Consumers and industry look for the USDA grade shields as trusted symbols of wholesome, high-quality American beef. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the agency responsible for grading, continues to explore ways to more efficiently conduct business. Most recently, we used beef instrumentation grading technology to initiate an audit-based Beef Grading Pilot Program at a facility in Toppenish, Washington in August 2012.
Although beef instrumentation grading technology has been in use for several years, it has not reduced the number of graders required at each grading facility until now. By working with the Meat Graders’ Union, we were able to come to an agreement to pilot a program that would have beef industry employees trained to interpret and apply the Official USDA Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef under the oversight of a USDA meat grader. Read more »
Natasha Williams, Program Specialist with the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Office of Outreach, Employee Education and Training
“The great thing about working in FSIS is that no day is exactly the same. There are so many initiatives that are important to both employees and stakeholders,” says Program Specialist Natasha Williams. Read more »
Dr. Douglas Fulnechek discusses the different states of a disease process at an off-line carcass disposition correlation station.
FSIS is the largest employer of veterinarians in the United States, consisting of 1,100 dedicated Public Health Veterinarians (PHV) who are trained in public health and regulatory medicine. These veterinarians verify the health of the animals destined for the food supply. Dr. Douglas Fulnechek is one of these veterinarians. Read more »
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is asking the public for comment as it continues to review existing program rules to determine whether any should be modified, streamlined, clarified, or repealed. The Department is particularly interested in hearing from the public concerning areas where USDA can simplify and reduce the reporting burden for entry and access to USDA programs, while reducing its administrative and operating costs by sharing data across participating agencies.
In response to Executive Order 13610 (Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens), USDA has incorporated various initiatives into its review to reduce burden on the public, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS), Conservation Delivery Streamlining Initiative, which has the potential to reduce administrative time for clients participating in NRCS’ conservation programs, and FSA’s streamlined version of a current form for use by repeat customers whose information has not changed. Read more »
These days, it seems everyone knows (or is) a foodie, a self-proclaimed guru of all things edible. To add to the myriad of “foodie gift guides” shopping sites have created this month, the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline has put together a list of inexpensive kitchen essentials, most of which are small enough to fit inside a stocking or gourmet gift basket. The best part: these gadgets ensure the giftee will return the gesture with perfectly and safely roasted (or braised, smoked, flambéed…) treats this holiday season and year-round. Read more »
Often during the holiday season, we take time to reconnect with family and friends over a meal. We’re able to do so because hardworking folks in rural America deliver the most abundant and affordable food supply on earth.
It’s also the safest food supply – an achievement made possible by a wide range of skilled, dedicated people.
It all starts with our growers and processors, who are always asking how they can produce a safer product. They have the support of USDA staff at more than 6,000 plants around the country and at U.S. ports of entry. These experts inspect a wide range of food products before they’re sent to the grocery store. Read more »