The Legislative Auditor found that the Meat and Poultry Inspection Program is providing for the safety of consumers of West Virginia meat and poultry products. Meat and Poultry inspectors engage in daily inspection on each day a plant is open for operation. The inspection begins before a plant starts operations, at which time everything in the plant is to be inspected. Inspectors are always present during slaughter of animals. Animals are inspected antemortem (before death) and postmortem (after death). The carcass is then stamped for approval if it passes inspection.
For management purposes, the inspection program has adopted the Performance Based Inspection System (PBIS). PBIS is a computer based inspection system that uses software provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service. This system provides three important functions for inspectors and inspection officials which include: risk management; automated support systems; and scheduling of tasks. The Performance Based Inspection System assists in alerting the Director of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Program in early detection of any trends before they become a potential problem. The PBIS system can generate 39 reports, 16 of which are feedback reports of inspection results. These reports can provide the director information on any potential problems before they become critical, thus protecting the health and safety of consumers.
Each plant undergoes an annual comprehensive review involving three inspectors.
This team includes the Assistant Director of the meat program, one of the veterinary
supervisors, and another inspector. In addition, meat inspectors take samples of meat
products which are analyzed in the Department of Agriculture's laboratory, the South
Charleston Hygienic Laboratory, the University of Kentucky Pathology, or the
U.S.D.A. lab in Athens, Georgia. The Legislative Auditor concludes that the
continuous inspection process and monitoring of data through the PBIS database, and
the results of those reports, as well as the absence of negative epidemiological
information, i.e. deaths, or incidences of meat poisonings indicates that the Meat and
Poultry Inspection Program is providing for the safety of West Virginia consumers of
state inspected meat and poultry products.