Where's the beef addendum
I promised you the beef industry's thoughts on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's move to adopt a regulation that would allow it to release the names of retail establishments that received recalled meat. Dave Ray of the American Meat Institute was kind enough to send us something.
You can read the group's comments here.
The short version is AMI thinks releasing that information is a bad idea and that recalls are effective as they are.
While we're on the subject of meat, I thought I'd mention that the USDA Office of Inspector General released a memo on USDA's sampling and testing regime for E. coli O157:H7. I wrote not too long ago about issues with USDA's data collection.
Normally, this type of thing would be considered too far in the weeds, but given that last year's surge in E. coli-related beef recalls still has the industry and regulators stumped, how the agency collects information on the presence of pathogens in our food has become important.
The OIG's memo raised questions about USDA ability to detect whether meat processors are doing what they're supposed to be doing to keep O157:H7 out of our hamburgers. Officials with USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service told the OIG that "the rate at which individual establishments are currently sampled (at most once a month) does not allow for a statistically valid determination of the effectiveness of the food safety system of an individual establishment in a given year."
The OIG goes on to say multiple samples taken from the same product lot over a period of intervals throughout the day would provide a more representative sample, but USDA would have a tough time doing that with its current resources.
You can read the entire memo here.
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Posted by: melissamac1 | February 27, 2008 2:26 PM
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