The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will require meat and poultry producers and importers to wait for negative test results of food-borne pathogens before releasing products into the marketplace, starting 60 days from Dec. 7, 2012.
The new regulations apply to non-intact raw beef and ready-to-eat products containing meat or poultry that are routinely tested for E. coli and other pathogens. Test results typically take two days to process.
“This new policy will reduce food-borne illnesses and the number of recalls by preventing contaminated products from reaching consumers,” Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA under secretary for food safety, said in a statement. “Many producers hold products until test results come back. We’re encouraging others in the industry to make this a routine part of operations.”
FSIS estimates that these procedures could have prevented 49 of the 251 recalls of meat, poultry, and egg products from 2007 to 2010. (Supermarket News: www.supermarketnews.com)