The Food Safety and Inspection Service is announcing its intention to redesign its E. coli O157:H7 verification testing program for beef manufacturing trimmings to make the program more risk-based and to enable the Agency to calculate ongoing statistical prevalence estimates for E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef manufacturing trimmings.

The notice also discusses FSIS's plans to perform a beef carcass baseline. FSIS seeks public comment on its plans, which have been developed in response to a 2011 audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Inspector General (OIG) of FSIS's protocol for N-60 sampling of beef manufacturing trimmings for E. coli O157:H7. This notice also announces changes that FSIS has made to its beef manufacturing trimmings program to increase both the collection rate and the likelihood that FSIS will find positive samples. Finally, this notice summarizes a 2012 OIG report and the actions that FSIS has taken to address the recommendations in that report.

Comments regarding the new testing program can be submitted to the FSIS by November 19.

Click here for more information.