Navigation Links
Publicly releasing inspection data on meat processing facilities could have 'substantial benefits'
Date:11/30/2011

WASHINGTON Publicly posting enforcement and testing data corresponding to specific meat, poultry, and egg products' processing plants on the Internet could have "substantial benefits," including the potential to favorably impact public health, says a new report from the National Research Council. The report adds that the release of such data could contribute to increased transparency and yield valuable insights that go beyond the regulatory uses for which the data are collected.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for ensuring that meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled. It collects voluminous amounts of data at thousands of processing facilities in support of its regulatory functions and is considering the release of two types of collected data on its website. These include inspection and enforcement data and sampling and testing data -- such as testing for the presence of food borne pathogens like salmonella, pathogenic E. coli, and listeria monocytogenes. Some of this information is already available to the public via the Internet but is aggregated and does not contain names of specific processing facilities. However, most of the data FSIS collects, with the exception of information that is considered proprietary, can currently be obtained by the public through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The committee that wrote the report examined a substantial body of literature documenting the impacts of disclosing establishment-specific regulatory information similar to that collected by FSIS. Based on this information, the committee believed there are strong arguments supporting the public release of FSIS data that contains the names of processing facilities on the Internet, especially data that are subject to release under FOIA, unless there is compelling evidence that it is not in the public interest to release them. Several potential benefits of releasing such data include enabling users to make more informed choices, motivating facilities to improve their performance, and allowing research studies of regulatory effectiveness and other performance-related issues. More specific benefits might include better understanding on the part of the public relative to the kinds of information that have been collected, such as a greater appreciation for the quality, complexity, and potential usability of the data for specific purposes. Even if individual firms do not change their behavior in response to data posting, overall food safety could improve if information about performance leads consumers to favor high-performing facilities, effectively resulting in a shift in the composition of the market.

The benefits of releasing FSIS data must be balanced against potential unintended adverse consequences, the report says. These could include impacts on facilities' profitability, possible misinterpretation of the data, pressure on inspector performance, and unintentional release of proprietary or confidential information. However, the committee concluded that while adverse impacts are possible, there is limited systematic evidence documenting their likelihood.

Because of the complexity of issues associated with public release of data with facility names and the potential for adverse effects, the report suggests the need for an effective disclosure plan to inform the process. For example, potential adverse effects could be minimized if FSIS ensures the data's integrity, provides definitions of what is being quantified, and is careful to protect confidential information associated with particular facilities. To help make sure that the public release of the data will be useful, the committee suggested that FSIS define a timetable for its release and commit the resources necessary to allow the data's accessibility, quality, and timeliness.

Additionally, the report recommends that FSIS consult with other agencies that have released detailed regulatory data on the performance of individual facilities or firms, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO), the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration, and several states and local public health departments that have released data on restaurant hygiene and inspection grading. The committee believes FSIS could build on these agencies' effective practices while designing its public data release program.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Walsh
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Publicly Insured Kids May Get Less Comprehensive Care
2. Many Breakthrough Drugs Come From Publicly Funded Research: Study
3. Medicare payment adjustments -- focus of new IOM report releasing June 1
4. Regenstrief releasing new version of lingua franca needed for electronic health info exchange
5. Nitric oxide-releasing wrap for donor organs and cloth for therapeutic socks
6. FDA to Step Up Inspections of Imported Products
7. Inspection Can Reveal Whether Radon Problem Exists
8. UAB first in US with cell-processing workstation
9. ASGE and SHEA issue updated multisociety guideline on reprocessing flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes
10. MU chemist discovers shortcut for processing drugs
11. Acupuncture changes brains perception and processing of pain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... CDRH Enforcement Trends: , Back to the Future , Feb. 25, 2016 — 11:00 a.m. ... “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” , An analysis of ... year. But that takes time. , Take a close look at the warning letters ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... , ... As a former television executive, owner Tal Rabinowitz knows how stressful ... decompress, Rabinowitz found herself drawn to a casual meditation class while working at NBC ... implementing a 20-minute-per-day meditation practice with her team. After her tenure at NBC, she ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The ThedaCare Center for ... General Hospital on April 5-7. The series is a multi-day, multi-workshop event designed ... workshops cover a broad range of topics, including coaching skills, the scientific method ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fisher House Foundation Chairman and CEO ... Lee, Nevada Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, and Peggy Kearns Director, VA Southern ... Nevada Healthcare System. This will be the first Fisher House in Nevada, and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Vail knee specialist Robert LaPrade, MD, ... in 2016 . The list consists of physicians establishing, leading and partnering with ambulatory ... , An Ambulatory Surgery Center, also known as an ASC, is a modern ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , February 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... nicht anders vermerkt)   http://www.sedar.com ... http://www.telestatherapeutics.com abrufbar.    --> ... des Unternehmens http://www.telestatherapeutics.com abrufbar.    ... (TSX:TST; PNK:BNHLF) veröffentlichte heute seinen Konzernabschluss des ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Kalifornien, 12. Februar 2016  Sequent ... der Aufnahme von Patienten für eine Studie zur ... Aneurysmen („WEB") speziell für die Behandlung von rupturierten ... , MD, Leiter der Neuroradiologie an der Universitätsklinik ... und Hauptprüfarzt der CLARYS-Studie hat den ersten Patienten ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016 On Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, surgeons ... David,s North Austin Medical Center successfully completed the first ... ® Surgical System with Trumpf Medical,s advanced operating ... Lakshman , M.D., colorectal surgeon at the Texas Institute ... Table Motion technology, which seamlessly combines the da Vinci ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: