The Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued Notice 36-11: Temporary Changes in Sampling Frequency for E. coli O157:H7 Testing in Raw Ground Beef. According to the notice, in order to reach sampling goals, FSIS will increase the number of samples collected from ground beef establishments with production volumes of at least 50,000 lbs per day during August and September 2011.
To achieve the increase in sampling, the following monthly rates have been adjusted:
* Up to six times within a 30-day window for establishments with ground beef product production volumes of greater than 250,000 lbs/day
* Up to four times within a 30-day window for establishments with ground beef product production volumes of 50,000 to 250,000 lbs/day
* No changes for establishments with ground beef product production volumes of less than 50,000 lbs/day
Although additional samples will be collected per month, inspection personnel are still to follow the sample collection instructions in FSIS Directive 10,010.1, Chapter 2, paragraph III, “Information for Collecting Samples for Ground Beef Products,” for collecting up to two samples per day.
To view this notice, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISNotices/36-11.pdf.