Seafood Safety: Responsibility for Inspecting Catfish Should Not Be Assigned to USDA

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In determining that Salmonella is the primary food safety hazard in catfish, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) officials stated that the agency focused on Salmonella at the direction of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which considered Salmonella the most practical hazard to evaluate. However, GAO found that FSIS used outdated and limited information in its risk assessment as its scientific basis for a catfish inspection program that seeks to mitigate that hazard. For example, FSIS identified a single ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 10, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In determining that Salmonella is the primary food safety hazard in catfish, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) officials stated that the agency focused on Salmonella at the direction of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which considered Salmonella the most practical hazard to evaluate. However, GAO found that FSIS used outdated and limited information in its risk assessment as its scientific basis for a catfish inspection program that seeks to mitigate that hazard. For example, FSIS identified a single outbreak of Salmonella-caused illnesses, but this outbreak was not clearly linked to catfish. FSIS noted that this outbreak was before the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 1997 Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point regulations, which required firms to identify hazards in their processing systems and implement controls to prevent or mitigate these hazards; no similar outbreaks have occurred since. Other federal agencies questioned if FSIS had adequately demonstrated a Salmonella problem in catfish. For example, FDA does not generally have such concerns. Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) also stated that FSIS did not adequately demonstrate that Salmonella was a problem with catfish."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 10, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Seafood Safety: Responsibility for Inspecting Catfish Should Not Be Assigned to USDA, report, May 10, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300968/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.