The supplement previously went out in draft form for industry comment was finalized in the second week of February.
USDA says that all such facilities must be US Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seafood inspection approved establishments meeting all pertinent federal requirements applicable to processing fish and fishery products.
To meet the USDC/NOAA approved establishment requirements, they may participate in one of three USDC/NOAA inspection systems, including the HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) quality management program, the Integrated Quality Assurance Program or the Resident Inspector Program.
The HACCP quality management program requires firms to be subjected to unannounced systems audits on a quarterly frequency interval to substantiate overall compliance with all pertinent regulations and to meet quality requirements.
The Integrated quality Assurance Program is a reduced inspection service which requires that firms assume greater verification and documentation responsibility, with NOAA performing verification checks of the facility, its quality assurance system and product quality results.
The resident inspector program is a continuous inspection service with USDC inspection personnel present during all hours of production to fulfill USDA contracts.
Additional information about the AMS commodity purchase programs, including current specifications and technical documents is online at www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food.