The agency anticipates it will allow consumers to make more informed choices, motivate establishments to improve performance, and lead to improvements in food safety by providing insights into strengths and weaknesses of different practices.
Criteria such as data availability and possible impact on public health will determine which datasets are publically released.
Initially, FSIS will share information on the processes at each facility, giving more detail than the searchable establishment directory and a code for each facility that will make it easier to sort and combine future datasets.
FSIS will release results for Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) and Salmonella in ready-to-eat (RTE) products and processed egg products.
On a quarterly basis, FSIS will share other datasets, including results for Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and Salmonella in raw, non-intact beef products; results for Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chickens and young turkeys, comminuted poultry, and chicken parts; chemical residue testing data in meat and poultry products; and advanced meat recovery testing data.
Al Almanza, USDA deputy under-secretary for food safety, said the plan is a step towards better engagement with stakeholders who will have quality information on an ongoing basis.
“FSIS’ food safety inspectors collect vast amounts of data at food producing facilities every day, which we analyze on an ongoing basis to detect emerging public health risks and create better policies to prevent foodborne illness.
“Consumers want more information about the foods they are purchasing, and sharing these details can give them better insight into food production and inspection, and help them make informed purchasing decisions.”
FSIS employs roughly 7,500 food safety inspectors who work in more than 6,000 meat, poultry and processed egg facilities and more than 120 ports of entry every day.
The datasets will be on Data.gov on a quarterly basis starting 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.