The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is confirming that it will implement routine verification testing for six Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), in addition to E. coli O157:H7, in raw beef manufacturing trimmings beginning June 4, 2012. FSIS is also responding to comments on the final determination published September 20, 2011, in the Federal Register regarding the June 4, 2012, implementation of STEC sampling and related issues.
Agency Contact: Rachel Edelstein, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 205-0495.
This rule is final.
Beginning June 4, 2012, FSIS will implement routine verification testing for the six additional STECs discussed in this document (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145), in raw beef manufacturing trimmings (domestic or imported) derived from cattle slaughtered on or after June 4, 2012. To allow industry time to implement any appropriate changes in food safety systems, including control procedures in their processes, FSIS will generally not regard raw, non-intact beef products or the components of these products found to have these pathogens as adulterated until June 4, 2012. FSIS will announce in a future Federal Register document the date it intends to implement routine verification testing for the specified STECs in additional raw beef products tested by FSIS for E. coli O157:H7, including ground beef.