The government’s new system for preventing contamination in processing plants is known by the acronym HACCP. Some meat and poultry inspectors sardonically say that means: “Have A Cup of Coffee and Pray.”
Actually, it means “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points,” a system beginning today for the 312 largest meat and poultry processing plants that account for 75 percent of livestock slaughtered in the United States. It will be phased in over two years in the remaining 6,100 plants.
Under the new regime, plants install their own facilities preventive measures to reduce E. coli and salmonella bacteria and improve sanitation. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said the system is a “revolutionary improvement” over the old approach’s reliance on sight, touch and smell.