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News 278 views update:Oct 11, 2006

Satellite links to help with plant inspection

The US Department of Agriculture plans to install satellite dishes at some processing plants to give inspectors reliable, high speed Internet access to help them carry out their inspections.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will proceed with plans to install satellite dishes at certain federally inspected meat and poultry plants, according to a notice in the October 5 issue of the Federal Register.
The FSIS said the satellite dishes are essential for its inspectors to conduct efficient inspections.
“Because the use of information technology has become an integral part of FSIS' inspection process, FSIS has determined that inspection personnel must have reliable, high-speed Internet access to more efficiently and effectively perform their duties,” the agency stated in a news release. “FSIS intends to use satellite technology to provide high-speed Internet access to inspection personnel in approximately 2,000 establishments nationwide.”
More than 7,600 FSIS inspectors are assigned to more than 6,500 meat, poultry, and egg processing facilities. Approximately 700 of these facilities are located in remote, rural areas.
The satellite link will enable inspectors to record a facility's daily food-safety and humane-handling verification activities, track the status of product samples, electronically access and retrieve documents that contain information they need to properly perform their inspection duties, such as FSIS regulations, directives, notices, and technical references, participate in computer-based on-line training, and obtain timely updates on inspection issues.
Installation of the satellite technology will not impose any costs to the facilities as FSIS will pay for all equipment and installation of the satellite service.

Editor WorldPoultry

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