The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will hold a public meeting via conference call on March 28, 2012 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. (ET).

In February, a NACMCF subcommittee met with members from USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, over several days, to discuss the purchase of ground beef for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Significant progress was made throughout the course of their meetings, and the subcommittee's questions and findings will be considered by the full committee.

Items on the agenda will include:

  • Assistance to the Agricultural Marketing Service with the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program

  • Staphylococcus aureus and other criteria used in the ground beef purchase for the NSLP

  • Alternative screening methods for ground beef beyond those in the FSIS Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook and determining acceptable screening procedures

FSIS will finalize the agenda on or before the meeting, and post it on the FSIS website at:

All documents related to the full committee meeting will be available for public inspection in the FSIS Docket Room, USDA, at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E. Street SW, Room 8-164, Washington, D.C. 20250, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, as soon as they become available. The NACMCF documents will also be available on the FSIS website at:

This meeting is being held by phone, and people interested in registering to attend the meeting, making a presentation, submitting technical papers, or providing comments at the March 28 plenary session should contact Karen Thomas-Sharp, USDA, FSIS, Office of Public Health Science, Stop 3777, Patriots Plaza 3, Floor 9-47, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250 or by phone: (202) 690-6620, fax: (202) 690-6334, or e-mail:

Source: FSIS