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23rd June 2020  Editorial by: rapidmicrobiology staff writer

Expansion of FSIS STEC Testing to Additional Raw Beef Products

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced plans to expand its routine verification testing for six Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli non-O157 (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, or O145) as well as E. coli O157: H7.

This expanded testing will apply to ground beef, bench trim, and raw ground beef components other than raw beef manufacturing trimmings (i.e., head meat, cheek meat, weasand (oesophagus) meat, product from advanced meat recovery (AMR) systems, partially defatted chopped beef and partially defatted beef fatty tissue, low temperature rendered lean finely textured beef, and heart meat for samples collected at official establishments.

Currently, FSIS tests only its beef manufacturing trimmings samples for these six non-O157 STEC and E. coli O157: H7; all other aforementioned raw beef products are presently tested for E. coli O157: H7 only.

FSIS also intends to test for these non-O157 STEC in ground beef samples that it collects at retail stores and in applicable samples it collects of imported raw beef products. 

FSIS is requesting comments on the proposed sampling and testing of ground beef, bench trim, and other raw ground beef components. FSIS will announce the date it will implement the new testing in a subsequent Federal Register notice.

Additionally, FSIS is responding to comments on November 19, 2014, Federal Register notice titled `Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Certain Raw Beef Products.'

FSIS is also making available its updated analysis of the estimated costs and benefits associated with the implementation of its non-O157 STEC testing on raw beef manufacturing trimmings and the costs and benefits associated with the expansion of its non-O157 STEC testing to ground beef, bench trim, and other raw ground beef components.



Date Published: 23rd June 2020