FSIS notice: Manufacturers to reassess HACCP plans 90 days after implementation of non-O157 STEC rule

Food production establishments will have to re-evaluate their HACCP plans 90 days after a new rule governing monitoring for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) went into effect if the target strains are detected, according to a notice from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Only those plants that have positive non-O157 STEC results and have not yet addressed the new rule in their HACCP plans will be required to review their plans, according to the notice.

The new STEC rule, which went into effect Monday, requires food manufacturers to test beef trimmings for six strains of E. coli (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145) in addition to E. coli O157:H7. These six strains are now considered adulterants.

The notice also gives details on how the new rule will work, including which samples will be tested and which protocols will be followed.

So, what happens when FSIS encounters a positive STEC test result? A few things:

  • Inspection program personnel must assess the process controls and sanitary dressing procedures in slaughter facilities, including decontamination and antimicrobial interventions.  Of special focus are efforts to keep visible contamination off the carcass through all parts of the hide removal process.
  • Inspection personnel must determine if the establishment has identified non-O157 STECs as a hazard in its HACCP plan prior to taking corrective measures. If the HACCP plan does not address non-O157 STECs, the facility must reassess its plan.

To read the full notice, click here.

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