FSIS aims to change E. coli O157:H7 testing program for beef trim

E. coli

E. coli O157:H7 testing may soon be more risk-based, according to a notice posted in the Federal Register.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced it is seeking comments on a redesign of its E. coli O157:H7 verification system to make it more risk-based while also allowing the agency to conduct “on-going statistical prevalence estimates” in raw beef trim, according to a posting in the Federal Register published last week.

FSIS is accepting comments on its plan through November 19.

E. coli O157:H7 belongs to a group known as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, or STEC. These strains produce a toxin that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness and may lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome, or kidney failure. E. coli O157:H7 is one of the most common causes of severe foodborne illness.

In June, FSIS began random sampling for six additional strains of STEC in raw beef trimmings. These strains include O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145.

For the full notice, including where to send comments, click here.

For other STEC-related news from Neogen’s blog, click here.

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