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Agencies Regulating Tyson Foods And Protecting Public Health

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Dec. 17 2014, Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

Agencies Regulating Tyson Foods

Large scale food producers such as Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN), Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (PPC), Sanderson Farms, Inc. (SAFM), and Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) are subject to the regulations of several US agencies. The agencies regulating Tyson Foods are as follows:

  • The United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA
  • The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA
  • The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, or HACCP

Keep in mind, these agencies also oversee other food processing companies, including those found in the S&P 500 ETF (SPY).

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United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA

The USDA inspects and conducts on-site examinations. This includes inspecting the internal organs of meat and poultry for disease. The USDA also has a suite of other regulations related to the following:

  • meat and poultry products grade
  • term usage – fresh or frozen
  • “use before” or “sell by” dates
  • hormonal usage
  • vaccine usage
  • additive usage – for example, salt

All of this information is available on the end-product labels. The USDA requires that the label you see above be put on all “raw and not fully cooked meat and poultry.”

The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA

The FDA inspects production activities at the company’s feed mills. The agency also regulates information related to sanitary practices, storage practices, safe handling, and labelling.

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Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA

The EPA is primarily concerned with the environmental or public health risks that may arise at Tyson Foods’ poultry processing facilities. The agency conducts inspections to ensure that the facility is in compliance with the Clean Water Act when it discharges manure and litter so that it does not pollute the water.

The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, or HACCP

The HACCP provides manufacturing guidelines to the food processing industry to prevent chemical, biological, and physical hazards from entering meat products from raw material production stage to the finished product stage.

Next, we’ll look at the details of Tyson Foods’ acquisition of Hillshire Brands in the second half of 2014.

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