FSIS Releases Draft Guideline on Complaint Handling and Foreign Materials

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a Draft Guideline detailing the Agency’s expectations of companies that identify foreign material in their meat and poultry products and more generally providing recommendations for how establishments should craft their complaint handling policies. FSIS states that it developed the document in response to an increase in the number of recalls of meat and poultry products adulterated with foreign materials, many of which occurred after the recalling establishments had received multiple customer complaints. Though the document is intended to address foreign material customer complaints specifically, FSIS notes that establishments can apply the information in the document to other customer complaints of adulterated or misbranded products in commerce. The Draft Guideline marks a significant expansion in FSIS’s formal guidance about complaint handling programs and signals continued Agency focus on foreign material issues.

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