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International Services


Thomas J. Hoffman, President, TJH Consulting, LLC participated in the team system reviews of Austria, Canada and Mexico’s inspection and enforcement programs while at USDA. He conducted audits of each countries enforcement program. In addition, he collaborated on the review of equivalency questionnaires for Slovenia, Costa Rico and Jamaica. He has also advised U.S. reviewers on enforcement issues prior to and after conducting annual audits.

He has 35 years of service with USDA’s, Food Safety and Inspection Service that enable him to provide many food safety related services to foreign countries and foreign plants that are or would like to, export meat and/or poultry products to the U.S.

Since retiring from USDA, Tom has done the following:

  • Recently reviewed and edited the new “Meat Decree” and a new regulation for Salmonella sampling for beef for the country of Colombia.
  • Taught Advanced HACCP Training to 32 French government and plant officials in Paris, France June 25-29, 2007.
  • Member of the design team for the largest cattle and hog slaughter plant in Bogotá, Colombia. Attended the first of several meetings on June 19 and 20, 2007, to assist the architects and engineers with the design and construction of two new $6,000.000 slaughter and processing plants.
  • Obtained lead instructor certification to teach Advanced HACCP from the International HACCP Alliance on May 17, 2007.
  • Recently traveled to Barranquilla, Colombia and conducted an independent third party audit at a large cattle kill to determine what systems need improved to obtain certification to export boneless beef to the United States. Made a number of recommendations and reported my findings to USAID officials. Traveled to Bogotá, Colombia and met with UAAID officials to report my findings from Barranquilla. Also met with FENAVI which is the Trade Association involved with the poultry industry in Colombia. Answered a number of questions regarding the US model for Poultry Inspection.
  • Traveled to the country of Columbia several times in 2005 - 2007 under contract with US AID and The Services Group to provide guidance and input regarding the equivalence process to obtain approval from USDA/FSIS to export beef to the United States. Met with US AID officials at the US Embassy, including the Agricultural Attaché, to share my observations and recommendations on how to proceed with the project. I am the lead consultant on the “Meat Project” and am currently assisting INVIMA with the entire equivalence process, including new laws, regulations, directives, notices, training programs, etc. to comply with USDA/FSIS requirements for SSOP/HACCP/ Pathogen Reduction/ BSE/ PBIS/ Residues/Zero Tolerance for Fecal, etc.
  • Conducted assessments at several large slaughterhouses/processing plants in Colombia in 2006 & 2007 under contract with US AID and The Services Group. Provided recommendations for improvement to meet USDA/FSIS equivalence requirements that will enable the firms to export frozen boneless beef to the United States.
  • Conducted several seminars in Colombia in 2006 & 2007 for 150 government and plant officials on topics ranging from SPS/HACCP/E coli and Salmonella sampling/zero tolerance for fecal/laws and regulations/exports and imports/ante-mortem and post mortem inspection/ plant construction and sanitary design/BSE/ E coli 0157:H7/PBIS/HACCP verification/ PBIS/etc.
  • Conducted an audit at a large cattle kill in Barranquilla, Colombia, in 2006 to determine what systems need improved to obtain certification to export boneless beef to the United States. Made a number of recommendations and re-wrote their SPS/SSOP/HACCP/Pre-requisite Programs/Forms/ etc.
  • Taught HACCP in Paris, France to 30 government and plant officials in 2006.
  • Conducted an independent third party audit at the largest canning plant in France. Made recommendations so the firm can be recertified to export pate to the United States. Rewrote 27 HACCP plans; SSOP; SPS; forms; supporting documentation; etc. The firm had been de-listed for export to the United States by USDA/FSIS.
  • Taught HACCP in Bogotá, Columbia the week of November 7, 2005 to forty government representatives from the five Andean countries under contract with USDA’s FAS.
  • Lead Instructor at the Animal Inspection Quarantine Workshop in Lima, Peru on September 5-9, 2005 under a contract with USDA’s/FAS. Taught courses in Beef Slaughter Practices, E. coli and Salmonella Sampling and Zero Tolerance for Fecal. Also, taught Bio-security, Egg Products, and Import and Export Inspection Practices. There were representatives from the five Andean Countries in attendance.
  • Taught a course on SSOP/HACCP to 25 French Government and Company Quality Control Officials.
  • Audited Mexico’s organizational structure and government oversight activities under a contract with USDA’s/FSIS. Provided recommendations for improvement. Mexico has implemented the US system for SSOP/HACCP verification known as PBIS.
  • Taught a course on SSOP/HACCP verification based on the U.S. model to 50 Mexican government officials.
  • Conducted audits of the food safety systems at four large beef slaughterhouses in Mexico to prepare them for audits by the U.S. Rewrote the company’s SSOP/HACCP plans and prerequisite programs including BSE.
  • Conducted an audit of the food safety systems at several meat processing plants in Mexico to prepare them for an audit by theU.S. on behalf of the US Meat Export Federation.
  • Taught a course on SSOP/HACCP verification based on the U.S. model to 35 Mexican government officials on behalf of The United Status-Mexico Foundation for Science.
  • Taught a series of training classes based on the U.S. model on U.S. food safety policies, including SSOP/HACCP verification, to 35 Serbian/Montenegro government and company officials. The courses met International food safety requirements under the WTO/SPS Agreement. This training was conducted on behalf of USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service. The course involved hands on verification training in two meat slaughter and processing facilities.
  • Guest speaker at the AMI Innovation Showcase Convention on October 1, 2004. The lecture was entitled “Regulatory Response: Get it Right the First Time.”
  • Obtained lead instructor certification to teach SSOP/HACCP from the International HACCP Alliance on November 15, 2004.
  • Developed new and/or have re-written approximately 100 SSOP/HACCP/Pre-requisite Programs for foreign and domestic meat and poultry plants.

The firm provides consulting services to foreign countries and foreign establishments in the following areas:

  • Provide training on the U.S. model for development and implementation of SSOP/HACCP plans and SSOP/HACCP verification by a foreign government
  • Development of enforcement programs to meet U.S. requirements
  • Knowledge of U.S. laws and regulations


  • On-site verification of the countries enforcement program for equivalency prior to review by FSIS
  • Conducting foreign equivalency reviews
  • Facilitation of the enforcement equivalency review process with FSIS on behalf of the foreign country
  • Performing audits of foreign countries enforcement programs
  • Assistance responding to U.S. questionnaires for equivalency determination


  • Assistance with responding to the findings of U.S. reviewers
  • Assistance with suspension and/or de-listment of a countries equivalence certification by USDA/FSIS
  • Assistance with Notices of Intent to De-list, individual plant de-listments, etc.
  • Assistance with FSIS regulatory issues