Walmart and Sam’s Club officials announced last week they will require additional beef safety measures to further protect consumers. The new process controls are in addition to already requiring ground beef suppliers to test for E. coli O157:H7. A Walmart spokesperson said adding a layer of safety is a result of recent beef recalls.

The new program will require beef packers and processors to implement validated intervention strategies. According to Kansas State University Regents Distinguished Professor of Meat Science Jim Marsden, examples of acceptable cattle plant strategies could include thermal pasteurization, steam vacuuming and post-chill carcass pasteurization. All these technologies resulted from K-State research projects funded by the Kansas Beef Council.

Marsden said the steps taken will provide Walmart customers with the safest possible beef products. No ranch- or feedyard- level standards are required under Walmart’s new plan. Walmart is the world’s largest beef retailer.

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