The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) last week notified food processors of new rules for testing bench trim for E. coli O157:H7, and a directive that consolidates instructions for E. coli verification activities.

Notice 51-09 outlines rules for routine sampling and testing of beef manufacturing trimmings derived from cattle not slaughtered in that establishment, known as bench trim, for E. coli O157:H7.  The notice informs inspection program personnel (IPP) that they are to begin routine sampling of bench trim for E. coli O157:H7 when they receive a sample request form (FSIS Form 10,210-3) with the MT55 project code.

FSIS Directive 10,010.1, Revision 2 was also issued last week.  The directive, titled “Verification Activities for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Raw Beef Products,” was reissued to incorporate in one document the instructions that FSIS has issued in multiple notices regarding E. coli O157:H7.  According to the Agency, the revised directive serves three purposes:  it provides instructions to IPP for sampling raw beef products for FSIS verification; it outlines actions FSIS will take upon a positive test for E. coli; and it includes instructions for other E. coli verification activities. 

FSIS also released a list of directives relating to meat inspections, testing and documentation it plans to issue during August. A summary of the list is available from the American Meat Institute.