January 4, 2008
January 4, 2007 - U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has commenced an enhanced risk-based sampling and testing program for E. coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef, one of the many programs it promised to initiate following the Topps Meat Co. recall last fall.
Under the new protocol, effective Jan. 1, FSIS will take into account establishment volume and whether the establishment has had any FSIS or Agriculture Marketing Service positive results within the past 120 days.
FSIS says inspectors will likely collect a minimum of four samples and up to 24 samples annually. The new program is independent of follow-up testing, which results from an establishment being implicated in an E. coli O157:H7-positive production lot.
Topps' recall of nearly 22 million pounds of frozen ground beef products in early October, one of the largest beef recalls in U.S. history, followed a rash of recalls in the summer and forced FSIS to review its oversight procedures. The agency vowed it would make improvements, announcing some of its plans shortly thereafter. Reprinted from meatingplace.com