Meat+Poultry - August 2020 - 116

G R O U ND BE E F SAF ETY

Safely grounded
Evolving regulations and processor
compliance ensure the safety of ground beef
By Joel Crews
j cre w s@ so sl an d .c o m

W
16

2020 GROUND BEEF TRENDS + TECHNOLOGY MEAT+ POULTRY

Increased routine
verification testing for
pathogens mandated by
the USDA is ultimately
designed to enhance
the safety of the beef
industry supply chain.

Photos: Fixture Photography by Nicole Branch

hile legislation regulating how
beef processors control pathogens evolve, companies operating
the plants where ground beef is
produced remain committed to
maintaining the safety of their
products using industry best practices and the latest technologies.
This past month, the US Department of
Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service (FSIS), concluded its 60-day public
comment period regarding increasing routine
verification testing for six Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) adulterants: non-O157 STEC,
O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 or 145 as well as
E. coli O157:H7 to include a wider range of raw
beef products.
The expanded sampling and testing targets
ground beef and bench trim as well as non-trimming components used in ground beef, including:
head, heart, weasand and cheek meat; product
derived from advanced meat recovery systems;

partially defatted chopped beef and beef fatty tissue; and low-temperature rendered lean finely
textured beef.
According to the June 4 Federal Register
notification regarding the expansion of testing,
"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."
The agency also intends to test for non-O157
STEC in ground beef samples collected at retail
stores and from "applicable samples it collects of
imported raw beef products. FSIS first announced
its intention to expand testing on Sept. 20, 2011, in
a Federal Register announcement.
The annual cost for testing beef manufacturing trimmings for non-O157 STEC was estimated by FSIS to be $42.2 million, with $42.1 million of the cost to be incurred by the industry
and approximately $100,000 paid for by the FSIS.
Additional cost estimates of expanding nonO157 STEC testing to all other raw beef products
is $6.4 million, $5.9 million of which would be
passed on to the industry.
The benefit from reduced outbreak-related
recalls was estimated to be at least $51.6 million
per year, according to the FSIS, which offsets the
cost to the industry. The cost for the expanded
testing was categorized as an investment in the
future of food safety for the beef-processing sector by the FSIS.



Meat+Poultry - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - August 2020

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