WASHINGTON –Alfred Almanza, Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator, announced on Nov. 16 that the agency will extend the comment deadline by 30 days for a Sept. 20 Federal Register publication declaring six strains of shiga toxin producing E. coli to be adulterants when found in certain beef products.

As a result, the new deadline to file comments is Dec. 21. However, the agency’s sampling program launch date of March 5, 2012, remains unchanged.

On Oct. 11, AMI joined seven other associations in requesting a comment extension and a delay in the effective date to give the industry more time to prepare.

“FSIS is now in a position to carry out an enforceable program to control non-O157 STEC,” Almanza said in the Nov. 15 letter.