One week after USDA Inspector General Phyllis Fong called for better E. coli O157:H7 testing procedures, the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSC) unveiled new, voluntary guidelines for testing products such as beef "trim," the leftover pieces from larger cuts used to make ground beef.

The new guidance document for the industry was funded in part by the beef checkoff program and provides suggested procedures for sampling and testing trim, intact meat cuts and frozen ground beef, as well as how to improve protocol and analysis of lab test results.

USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen called the recommendations "an important step forward in our collective efforts to ensure consistent results in the industry's food safety programs."

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