Satellite links to help with plant inspection
The US Department of Agriculture plans to install
satellite dishes at some processing plants to give inspectors reliable, high
speed Internet access to help them carry out their inspections.
and Inspection Service (FSIS) will proceed with plans to install satellite
dishes at certain federally inspected meat and poultry plants, according to a
notice in the October 5 issue of the Federal Register.
The FSIS said the satellite dishes are essential for its inspectors to
conduct efficient inspections.
â€œBecause the use of information technology has become an integral part of
FSIS' inspection process, FSIS
determined that inspection personnel must have reliable, high-speed Internet
access to more efficiently and effectively perform their duties,â€ the agency
stated in a news release. â€œFSIS intends to use satellite technology to provide
high-speed Internet access to inspection personnel in approximately 2,000
More than 7,600 FSIS inspectors are assigned to more than 6,500 meat,
poultry, and egg processing facilities. Approximately 700 of these facilities
are located in remote, rural areas.
The satellite link will enable inspectors to record a facility's daily
food-safety and humane-handling verification activities, track the status of
product samples, electronically access and retrieve documents that contain
information they need to properly perform their inspection duties, such as FSIS
regulations, directives, notices, and technical references, participate in
computer-based on-line training, and obtain timely updates on inspection issues.
Installation of the satellite technology will not impose any costs to the
facilities as FSIS will pay for all equipment and installation of the satellite
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