Cramer’s Corner – Chapter 2, Slide 2

October 1st, 2022 by Jim Miller

USDA Inspections

Per Michael Cramer, “USDA inspected establishments have Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) Inspection personnel assigned to their facilities. Typically, the first shift inspector is referred to the Inspector-In-Charge, or IIC. Because they may be responsible for more than one establishment, their time in the plant is often limited to tasks they receive through the Public Health Information System (PHIS). Inspection personnel have authority to issue a Non-compliance Report (NR) for findings that do not conform with regulatory requirements or apply US Rejected/US Retain tags to ingredients, food, equipment or rooms that they determine may create a regulatory deviation. The actions by inspection personnel can escalate if the findings are not corrected or create insanitary conditions within the establishment. For that reason, it’s extremely important to maintain sanitary conditions, respond to regulatory notices of findings and meet time commitments for corrective actions.

The role and responsibilities of FSIS personnel, as well as their authorities, are presented in Chapter 2 of the book Food Plant Sanitation. The chapter title is “Regulatory Inspection and Control Action”.”

Slide Content
USDA Inspectors are assigned to FSIS establishments, typically within a circuit
-There is usually an inspector assigned to each shift, they may be there for pre-op as well
Inspectors are provided tasks to complete that show the establishment is in compliance with USDA requirements (sanitation, labeling, weight control, food safety etc.)
Inspectors may issue a Noncompliance Report (NR) for findings that do not conform to regulatory requirements.
– Always review the NR for accuracy, provide responses in a timely manner
– You can “Appeal” an NR, or portions, if you do not agree that there was a non-conformance
– Monitor the issuance of NR’s as FSIS may “link” them if there are multiple findings with similar root cause
Additional actions by FSIS include
– Application of a US Rejected/US Retained tag to ingredients, areas, equipment or product
– Issue a Notice of Intended Enforcement (NOIE) for more severe findings
– Withdrawal of Inspection for continue non-conforming findings
– Withdrawal of the Grant of Inspection

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