WASHINGTON -- Risk-based sampling was supported by the American Meat Institute in comments the association submitted to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Docket No. FSIS 2012-0020: Risk-Based Sampling of Beef Manufacturing Trimmings for Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 and Plans for Beef Baseline.

FSIS also received an AMI recommendation that in its sampling, the agency consider the market class of animal, size of the establishment and the historical rate of E.coli O157:H7 detected at plants via agency testing. AMI comments also noted the May 2012 USDA Office of Inspector General Report found that “industry was taking appropriate steps to help ensure that US beef is safe from E. coli contamination.”

Industry input should be considered by FSIS when developing an agency survey that will assess changes made by the industry in the last five years that impact food safety, AMI also recommended.

An approach for conducting the beef carcass baseline survey was also recommended by AMI.

“Baselines provide a means to gain valuable information about the current products being evaluated,” AMI wrote. “To provide information only on the slaughter process, instead of the complete production of beef trimmings that are used in the production of ground beef (including veal), seems to be too narrow of a focus and limits the knowledge that could be gained during this study”.

AMI comments also recommended a “shakedown process” prior to the baseline process to assess the logistics of sampling so that the process does not lead to a manufacturing bottleneck.

Complete comments are available at http://www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/83177