New regulations regarding refrigeration of poultry and off-site irradiation of meat and poultry products have been issued by USDA's Food Safety & Inspection Service.
The refrigeration rule calls for packaged poultry to be chilled at 36 degrees or lower if it is held at the slaughter establishment for more than 24 hours.
This requirement, however, does not apply to processing establishments, cold storage facilities or other poultry holding or handing establishments.
Under the irradiation ruling, companies that irradiate meat and poultry products off-site and include irradiation as a critical control point (CCP) must address the control of the product, during transit, in its Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point requirements.
The company must also include procedures for receiving notification from the irradiation facility that the product received the appropriate irradiation treatment. Companies cannot complete pre-shipment reviews until it has received such a notification.
Inspection personnel are to take salmonella samples after the irradiation treatment has been applied.
Both these rulings were issued as directives to clarify instructions for inspection program personnel.
The refrigeration notice can be viewed at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/FSIS_Notices_Index/index.asp. The irradiation directive can be viewed at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/7000_Seres-Processed_Products/index.asp.