Changes to the Salmonella Verification Sampling Program: Analysis of Raw Beef for Shiga Toxin-Producin Escherichia coli and Salmonella
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing changes to its procedures for Salmonella verification sampling program of raw beef products. On the date that FSIS will announce in the Federal Register document that responds to any comments on this document, FSIS will discontinue Salmonella sampling set procedures (``HC01'') in ground beef products, except in establishments with results that exceeded the standard for Salmonella in that establishment's most recently completed sample set (i.e., in those establishments in Category 3). At the same time, FSIS will begin analyzing for Salmonella all raw beef samples that it collects for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) analysis. Therefore, FSIS will begin analyzing for Salmonella all samples of raw ground beef, beef manufacturing trimmings, bench trim, and other raw ground beef components that it collects for STEC testing. To be consistent with the Agency's STEC analytic sample portions, FSIS laboratories will increase the raw ground beef analytic sample portion for Salmonella analysis from 25 grams to 325 grams. This notice describes how FSIS intends to use the results from its verification sampling program to develop new Salmonella performance standards for ground beef product and to estimate Salmonella prevalence in raw ground beef and beef manufacturing trimmings products. Finally, this document discusses changes that the Agency is considering related to FSIS Salmonella sampling and testing of other products.