October 24, 2016

USDA Announces New Traceback for Suspect Ground Beef

The USDA announced new traceback procedures that will let it trace contaminated ground beef or bench trim back to the source more quickly. Immediate investigations will be conducted at facilities where the product tests positive for E. coli O157:H7 during initial testing. The suppliers that provide the source materials for those products will also be investigated immediately. Government inspectors will be sent in as soon as USDA-FSIS gets a "presumptive positive result" and the facility in question provides information about their supplier. Before this new procedure, FSIS would investigate only after the presumptive positive test was confirmed, which can take up to 2 days. The supplier inspections would have taken place 30 days later. The procedure will "enable FSIS to better … [Read more...]

FSIS To Require Test and Hold for Non-Intact Raw Beef Products and Ready-to-Eat Foods

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Friday that, in 60 days, they will require producers of non-intact raw beef and all ready-to-eat meat and poultry products to hold shipments until they pass agency testing for pathogens. This critical step will help prevent food poisoning outbreaks and recalls that result when a shipped product tests positive for contamination. USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen said, "this new policy will reduce foodborne illnesses and the number of recalls by preventing contaminated products from reaching consumers. Many producers hold products until test results come back. We're encouraging others in the industry to make this a routine part of operations." The new policy means establishments and food importers must … [Read more...]

USDA Expanding Testing for Illegal Drug Residues in Meat

On July 2, 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced some new steps to protect the food supply. Later this summer, FSIS will launch a new approach for testing for harmful levels of chemical residues in meat, poultry, and egg products. This is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen said, "the new testing methods being announced today will help protect consumers from illegal drug residues in meat products. By allowing us to test for more chemical compounds from each sample, these changes will enable USDA to identify and evaluate illegal drug residues more effectively and efficiently. The National Residue Program (NRP) tests for chemical compounds, including approved and … [Read more...]

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