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article imageNew U.S. standard for ground beef to avoid bacterial infection

By Tim Sandle     Aug 17, 2014 in Food
Washington - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced new procedures for detecting and removing unsafe ground beef from grocery stores as part of efforts to prevent food poisoning from bacterial pathogens.
Under its new procedures, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service will conduct immediate investigations of businesses whose ground beef tests positive for the virulent bacterium Escherichia coli O157:H7 during initial testing, and at suppliers that provided source materials.
According to Fox News, these trace-back investigations will begin as soon as FSIS receives a presumptive positive result and the grinding facility can provide supplier information. Previously, FSIS began investigations at the grinding facility only after a presumptive positive test result was confirmed, which can take two days.
E. coli is a major cause of food poisoning in meat and it poses a significant risk to consumers if the meat is not cooked properly. Meat products can become contaminated through unsanitary practices by meat producers. A single strain of E. coli accounts for the majority of infections, invading the bladder and kidneys.
According to FSIS, the move "will allow the agency to trace contaminated ground beef back to its source more quickly, remove it from commerce, and find the root cause of the incident to prevent it from recurring."
In related news, it has been reported that Whole Foods Market locations, South Weymouth, Mass. and Newton, Mass., are recalling 368 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
More about Ground beef, E coli, Escherichia coli
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