The Swift & Co. packing facility (formerly ConAgra) rocked last summer by a 19-million-lb. recall of ground beef has made $4 million in product safety improvements. The Denver Post reports that more than two dozen changes will be enacted at the Greeley, CO, plant, which processes 1.3 million head of cattle/year.

For one, the plant will be the first large meatpacker to not ship product until test results show they're free of pathogens. USDA rules allow shipping of meat before test results are known.

Other measures include:

  • Washing live cattle before they enter the plant.

  • Washing hides before they're stripped from the dead animal.

  • Additional lighting to allow workers to better detect contamination in the work area where carcasses are eviscerated.

  • More stop buttons on the line and encouragement of workers to use them.

  • Longer employee orientations, information and training on pathogens.

  • More focus on preventing cross-contamination of carcasses and surfaces.

  • Some product will be irradiated for safety assurance.