Tracing investigations will more quickly identify source of contaminated ground beef, remove unsafe product from commerce, prevent foodborne illnesses.
The USDA recently announced plans to more quickly trace contaminated meat along the supply chain, remove it from commerce and find the root source.
Under the new procedures, FSIS will conduct immediate investigations at businesses whose ground beef tests positive for E. coli O157:H7 during initial testing and at suppliers that provided source materials.
These traceback 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.
A similar investigation of the grinding facility's suppliers would have taken place 30 days later, and more intensive investigations of suppliers will now also begin immediately. Beginning investigations at the point of a presumptive positive test result can save FSIS valuable time, USDA says.
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