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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

It is about time – Meat to be shipped only after test results in

Screen shot 2011-04-05 at 9.49.27 AM.pngMary Clare Jalonick of AP reports on the Vilsack/Hagen briefing that the Obama administration is aiming to prevent meat recalls by withholding meat and poultry products from grocery store shelves until government testing is complete.

The Agriculture Department proposed rules Tuesday that would force companies to delay shipments to consumers until government inspectors have released tests on the meat. The department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has inspectors in all meat plants that sample for E. coli and other contaminants.

Currently, products that are sampled can be shipped before testing results are known, though many companies already have procedures in place to hold the meat. The agency said at least 44 recalls between 2007 and 2009 could have been prevented if the rule had been in place.

Testing is not perfect, but it is better than nothing.

  • Sam

    The meat industry will not rest until this proposal is slaughtered like so many helpless veal calves.
    Meanwhile, the rest of us in the food industry voluntarily hold products until testing is complete.

  • Theresa Kentner

    Where can I find out what does this means for product shipped to other manufacturers? For example, Cargill makes something that goes into XYZ for Kraft, will that need complete test results before it goes to Kraft?

  • Doc raymond

    Theresa, not all meat is tested. Some of what goes from a large packer to Kraft to make “XYZ” is not tested. This simply means that if it is tested by FSIS, then that lot cannot be shipped until results are known. The majority of the industry, I would guess making over 98% of the ground beef we consume, already practice test and hold. If you look at the recalls brought about by FSIS testing they are very small amounts, usually ground by a very small plant making daily product for local retails and institutions to meet theiir daily needs, and most do niot have the cooler capacity to hold the product while the tested sample is shipped and tested, plus they lose the day’s order. The FSIS recall notice almost always says something like found in routine testing and no illnesses have been reported. It makes sense to test and hold, but it is not a huge public health improvement measuret hey are proposing here.

  • Theresa Kentner

    Doc raymond,
    In my experience working in the food industry, I find it hard on occasion to get CoAs (Certificates of Analysis) from some (large, well known) suppliers because they don’t want to release that information or they don’t run the tests on which I am looking for the results.
    Either way, I have some concerns with that.

  • Thanks for your information. Without testing meat will be harmful for health. Provide us some stores name where fresh meat is available
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