Thirty-five new consumer safety officers (CSOs) will begin work at various US meat and poultry establishments on 30 October, said the American Meat Institute (AMI) charged with the job of supplementing the efforts of line inspectors and conducting periodic verifications of plants’ food safety practices.

The CSOs, who are mostly former inspectors of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), have completed a specialized training course at Texas A & M University, where they focused on topics such as microbiological hazards, HACCP plan design, epidemiology and statistics.

The CSOs will focus on assisting smaller facilities first, issuing reports on the safety controls to the FSIS after every visit. They will also review HACCP plans and hazard analysis documents, acting as part of in-depth verification and epidemiological investigative teams.

In the case of any problems, they will work together with the plant and verify corrective actions.

FSIS plans to create another 75 CSOs within the next year.