USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has posted a notice in the Federal Register of its intention to redesign its E. coli O157:H7 verification testing program for beef manufacturing trimmings to make the program more risk-based and to enable FSIS to calculate on-going statistical prevalence estimates for E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef manufacturing trimmings.
FSIS will also conduct a beef carcass baseline survey to determine the presence and levels of the pathogenic E. coli, including O157:H7 and the six non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) most commonly associated with illness in the United States; Salmonella species; and certain indicator organisms.
The new plans have been developed in response to a 2011 audit by USDA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) of FSIS's protocol for N-60 sampling of beef manufacturing trimmings for E. coli O157:H7.
Comments on the notice are due by November 19, 2012.
The full Federal Register notice is available here: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-09-19/html/2012-23078.htm.