Food Safety: Procedures for Inspecting Canadian Meat Imports.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVE LOPMENT DIV
Pagination or Media Count:
The General Accounting Office was asked to 1 describe the FSIS system for selecting and inspecting imported meat products, 2 determine the availability of equipment at import inspection facilities along the Canadian border that would enable the full inspection of meat shipped in trucks, and 3 assess the effectiveness of this new procedure to verify that carcass samples selected by Canadian inspectors are representative of the entire shipment. To respond to these questions, we visited 5 of the 21 FSIS-approved import inspection facilities located along the U. S.Canada border and a Canadian slaughterhouse, where we observed the inspection and sampling processes. In addition, we met with FSIS officials and current and former import inspectors to discuss the import inspection process. We also reviewed the availability of equipment required to unload carcasses at import inspection stations and FSIS data on the quality of Canadian sampling. In summary, FSIS considers the eligible foreign countries inspection system-not its own reinspection at the port of entry-to be the primary control for ensuring that imported meat products meet U.S. standards. As a check on the foreign countries inspection performance, FSIS requires that every shipment of imported meat, including shipments from Canada, receive some level of U.S. inspector review at the border. All Canadian meat shipments receive a visual check for container damage and inaccurate labeling or paperwork. Further, a sample of Canadian meat shipments about 11 percent of total Canadian meat shipments in calendar year 1996 receive a more intensive examination.
- Government and Political Science
- Food, Food Service and Nutrition