Working with FSIS to reduce condemnations and cut losses
By Douglas L. Fulnechek, DVM
Senior Technical Services Veterinarian, Zoetis
Unnecessary condemnations can cost poultry producers a fortune. In some cases, poultry companies don’t monitor carefully enough to recognize off-target condemnations. In other cases, producers know their condemnation rate is high, but what to do about it presents a conundrum. They don’t know how to go about challenging unsupportable inspector decisions or hesitate to do so because they fear retaliation.
As a former supervisory veterinary medical officer with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), I can tell you that conducting regular condemnation reviews and taking action to reduce unnecessary condemnations is worthwhile.
The FSIS inspector’s job is to follow the criteria for condemning a carcass, but there’s a lot of judgment and subjectivity that goes into inspecting chickens and it can be difficult to make a quick decision about whether or not a carcass should be condemned.
 FSIS Compliance Guideline for Small and Very Small Plants Appealing Inspection Decisions.
 FSIS Directive 4735.7 Attachment 1. Relationship Principles.