Thank you for the extraordinary effort that you and your staff are giving to meet the demands of consumers. You are to be commended for the services you have provided to your communities. I know these are trying times as you work to keep your supply lines full and protect your staff from contracting the virus.
I am writing today to ask for your help. In recent conversations with FSIS, one of the items discussed was the slaughter of custom animals versus inspected animals. How many of you are slaughtering both custom and inspected animals each week? FSIS is working to make sure they can provide the necessary inspection for every plant that requires it, and in looking ahead as this virus advances, trying to plan for the day when they might be missing inspection personnel due to illness.
Here are a few ways we as an industry can help during this time:
- Are there animals you are currently doing under inspection that could be done under custom?
- Could your customer slaughter be moved to a certain day or do not need Federal inspection on that day?
With our assistance, we can help free up FSIS employees to be used elsewhere that day if needed. It could ultimately help one of your fellow processors who may need FSIS services and it also means fewer individuals entering your plant that day.
I know how tight slaughter schedules can be. Many of you have plans with producers six months to a year out or more and changing them could be a real hassle. All I am asking is that you consider it. This is the type of things during times like these that will help continue to forge better relationships between FSIS and the industry. We must continue to look for ways to work together.