The new rules for federally registered meat processors state that:
• Processors that make beef trim, ground beef and beef patties must develop procedures outlining their response and review of trends in E. coli O157:H7 test results. Companies also must take immediate action and adjust their practices when trends indicate an unusual or higher number of positive test results.
• Ground-beef and beef-patty manufacturers must conduct additional testing and must take immediate action when test results indicate that bacteria are above acceptable levels.
• Mechanically tenderized beef intended for retail sale must be labeled as such and include cooking instructions.
• Plants must conduct follow-up testing if the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency identifies a positive test result in any sample of ground beef or ground beef patties.
For its part, the CFIA will:
• Increase sampling and testing frequency for E. coli O157:H7 in plants that make beef trim;
• Intensify testing frequency for E. coli O157:H7 from April to October; and
• Increase the overall number of samples taken annually, per plant.