FSIS issues new guidelines for marking sample sources during STEC testing

E. coli

Inspectors will soon see a change in the way they note the source of samples taken during routine Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) testing.

The new measures apply to samples taken during STEC verification testing that then are added to the Public Health Information System (PHIS). Sources will be marked as either veal, beef or mixed. Mixed source refers to a sample that is made up of beef and veal, or beef or veal along with another species), according to Notice 72-12 from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Previously, FSIS sample forms for verification testing in raw beef asked inspectors to cite whether the sample was beef or veal. However, ground beef from veal demonstrated a higher percentage of positive STEC results.

In addition to the new sample source guidelines, FSIS will report beef and veal individually on its website.

To read the full FSIS notice, click here.

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