Meat+Poultry - August 2020 - 118

G R O U ND BE E F SAF ETY

The letter states: "Depending on the facility,
the microbiological monitoring includes testing
for Aerobic Plate Count (APC), coliforms, and/
or generic E. coli. Monitoring results are evaluated on an ongoing basis for trend analysis of the
facility and products."

GROUND BEEF SAFETY

"The estimated benefits of the new testing
are reduced illnesses and deaths, reduced outbreak-related recalls, and improved business
practices," the FSIS said. "Through recall investigations, FSIS and industry are able to determine
process failures to help establishments take corrective actions to prevent future contamination
and investigation can serve as the basis for education that will benefit the entire industry as well
as regulatory organizations."

SAFETY ASSURANCE
Wichita, Kan.-based Cargill outlines the steps it
takes to address vulnerabilities in the slaughtering
and processing of cattle in a letter it sends to potential customers requesting information about its food
safety interventions implemented at its eight beef
harvesting plants in North America, including two in
Canada. The validated interventions Cargill utilizes
as part of its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control
Point (HACCP) programs at its plants are based
on the premise that E. coli O157:H7 and non O157
STEC are "reasonably likely to occur" hazards. Like
most fed-cattle beef processing operations, Cargill
uses pre-evisceration rinse cabinets to facilitate
hide-on carcass washing and post-evisceration
acid rinse cabinets as well as steam pasteurization
cabinets. For its cow harvest facilities, Cargill uses
a combination of hide-on carcass washing, steam
vacuums, acid rinse cabinets and either steam pasteurization cabinets or hot water treatments.
Carcasses are sampled to verify these interventions in addition to regular sampling as part
of the FSIS Salmonella performance standards
and for the presence of E. coli.

18

2020 GROUND BEEF TRENDS + TECHNOLOGY MEAT+ POULTRY

Cargill relies on
Supplier Approval
Programs to ensure
the integrity of the raw
materials received from
other processors.

For customers it supplies with beef products,
including trim for ground beef processing, Cargill
relies on its Supplier Approval Programs to ensure
the integrity of the raw materials received from
other processors. All Cargill raw material suppliers
are required to comply with applicable regulations
in addition to meeting the company's requirements
for validated inspection and food safety interventions, including sampling and testing for E. coli
O157:H7 in ground beef.
As part of its ongoing food safety efforts,
Cargill plants that test raw ground beef components as well as those producing finished ground
beef products utilize test-and-hold protocols.
Test results of the ground beef components and
finished ground beef samples are sent to customers in the form of a Product Notification
Document, which identifies the lot number, test
results and the testing method used. The company contracts with a third-party, accredited lab
to conduct its tests. Its E. coli O157:H7 sampling
program is also third-party verified.
As part of its testing protocol, Cargill uses a
surface excision sample for boxed and combo
trim and other raw beef components in combos.
Using lots made up of one combo up to a maximum of five combos, Cargill requires a minimum of 60 samples are taken per lot. Vacuumpacked boxed beef primals or sub-primals are
not part of Cargill's test-and-hold program as
these cuts are intended only for intact use, not
for ground beef production.
In its letter, the company states: "Cargill
beef harvest facilities are continuously striving
to minimize pathogenic bacteria contamination
through the implementation of proven new technology and advanced testing programs, while
at the same time exploring new technologies as
they come into existence.
"Cargill believes our food safety program sets
the standard for the industry, but at the same
time, neither we, nor for that matter, anyone is
able to guarantee pathogen free raw materials.
Accordingly, we want to reiterate the importance
of proper handling and cooking of all raw meat
products by you and your customers."



Meat+Poultry - August 2020

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

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