WASHINGTON – June 4 is the new start date for sampling six additional STEC serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145), the Food Safety and Inspection Service announced. Starting the week of June 4 — as opposed to the originally determined start-date of March 5 — FSIS will begin scheduling verification tasks for non-O157 STEC in raw beef manufacturing trimmings, the American Meat Institute relayed.
Excision (N60) samples will be collected by FSIS for testing raw beef manufacturing trimmings derived from cattle slaughtered on or after June 4 for O157:H7 plus O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145. The agency will sample the production lot only for O157-STEC for any production lots of raw beef manufacturing trimmings not accompanied by documentation showing the date of slaughter of the cattle from which the beef was derived. Production lots containing mixtures of raw beef manufacturing trimmings derived from cattle slaughtered before and after June 4 will be sampled by the agency only for O157-STEC.
Foreign governments already approved for the export of raw beef to the US have been contacted by FSIS and informed the agency would make a limited amount of reagents used in the FSIS laboratory method for non-O157 STECs available to a foreign government — should that government want to conduct a comparative analysis of its method and methods used with FSIS-assessed test kits.
FSIS believes the results of such comparative analyses could be useful, although these comparative analyses are not a necessary precondition for the agency to start verification testing of raw beef manufacturing trimmings on June 4.
Click here to read the advance copy of the FSIS announcement submitted to the Office of Federal Register.