USDA Gives Consumers an Electronic Way to Register Complaints Around the Clock

 

By News Desk | Sep 28, 2012

Consumers now have an electronic system for reporting problems with meat, poultry and egg products from USDA‘s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

“Consumers are an important source of the information that FSIS needs to ensure that America’s supply of meat, poultry and egg products is safe,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen Thursday. “This new tool empowers consumers to report problems directly to FSIS, enhancing our current surveillance of the food supply and our ability to prevent foodborne illness.”

Hagen announced that an electronic consumer complaint form can now be accessed on the FSIS Consumer Complaint Monitoring System (CCMS) to report illnesses, allergic reactions, injuries, improper labeling and issues with foreign objects.

In its announcement of the electronic reporting system for consumers, FSIS said the system will give the agency the ability to see if others are reporting similar issues and allow inspectors to identify establishments causing the issue.

On a case-by-case basis, consumers can expect follow-up especially for widespread problems or those involving severe public hazards.

Opening up CCMS to consumers filing electronic complaints is new, but the underlying system was creating 2001. It has tied FSIS to state and local health agencies.

CCMS facilitates the detection of public health threats in the nation’s food supply and enables FSIS to respond rapidly to mitigate those threats.

Cases have primarily been reported to FSIS district offices, through state and local health departments or through calls to the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-888-MPHotline), which is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

The new online form, available at https://ccms.fsis.usda.gov, makes it possible for consumers to enter complaints after business hours and on weekends, and the predefined fields ensure that each incident report is thorough, accurate and in a format consistent with other entries.

Source: © Food Safety News

 

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