Finding Directives

Adapted from Volume 3, Number 11 of Small Plant News

As a small plant operator, you probably already know that FSIS issues directives to provide official communications and instruction to Agency personnel in carrying out their functions. These directives are usually issued for an indefinite duration and are identified by a series number and title. It’s important for you to familiarize yourself with them and what they cover under their various series. However, in order to do this, you must first be able to locate them on FSIS’ website. On the left side of this main page, you’ll see a section titled Browse by Subject. Click on Regulations & Policies under this section.

Scroll down the page until you see the title Regulations, Directives, & Notices. In the paragraph under this title, you’ll see the word directives in blue—click on it. This page lists the series numbers FSIS uses for directives, and explains the subject matter covered by each of the directive series numbers. Click on the series number title, and you’ll be taken to a page with a listing of all available directives in that series. The directives’ series numbers are listed on the left, and the directives’ titles are listed to the right of the numbers; click on the directive number to read or print the directive.

In order to find directives, you must at least know what you’re looking for; the directives are categorized in eight separate series. When you’re searching for a particular directive, start by looking under the series number that matches the broad subject matter category the directive covers:

  • 5,000 Series: Program Services.

FSIS federal grants of inspection; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP); Inspection procedures; In-depth verification (IDV) reviews; Federal-State issues; Cooperative programs; Custom exemptions

  • 6,000 Series: Slaughter Inspection

Finished product standards; Zero-tolerance for fecal material; Antimicrobials; Carcass spraying; Humane handling

  • 7,000 Series: Processed Products

Processing performance standards; Labeling

  • 8,000 Series: Compliance Evaluation and Enforcement

Recalls; Detentions; Seizures; Condemnations

  • 9,000 Series: Exports and Imports
  • 10,000 Series: Laboratory Services

Escherichia coli; Salmonella; Sample seals; Residues; Sampling programs

  • 11,000 Series: Facilities, Equipment and Sanitation

Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures; Sanitation Performance Standards;

  • 12,000 Series: Voluntary Inspection

Don’t forget, there might be additional documents that accompany the directive—these are listed to the right of the directive’s series number, underneath the directive’s title. You’ll also need to click on these to open, read or print them. These documents provide valuable information, and are meant to be used with the directive.

While you’re on a particular directives’ series page, near the top, you’ll see “View Directives by Series No.” followed by a drop-down menu. If, while on a particular directives’ series page, you wish to navigate to a different directive series, just click the arrow on the drop-down menu, then click on the series number. You should be immediately redirected to the new page.

On the Directives introductory page, there is a link that permits you to sign up for e-mail alerts whenever there is a change to any of the Agency’s existing directives, or when new directives are issued. If you prefer, there is a similar link on each directive series page that allows you to sign up to receive e-mail alerts for that particular series only.

If you don’t see “directives” listed in blue under Regulations, Directives, & Notices on the Regulations & Policies page, click on the title Regulations, Directives, & Notices. This will take you to a page with the following titles: Acts & Authorizing Statutes; Federal Register Publications & Related Documents; FSIS Directives Index; FSIS Notices Index; and Administrative Regulations Index. To access the directives, click on the title FSIS Directives Index, and you should be directed to the Directives introductory page

You may also choose to use the Browse by Audience feature on the FSIS home page. Click on the arrow in the drop-down menu under the title Browse by Audience, and click on “Small/Very Small Plants.” You’ll be taken to the Small & Very Small Plants webpage. Once you are on that page, scroll down and, toward the bottom, you’ll see the title FSIS Directives Index. Click on it, and you’ll be directed to the webpage for the 5000 series of directives. To access the other directive series, use the “View Directives by Series No.” and drop-down menu as previously described.

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