The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will begin routine testing for six Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, in addition to E.coli 0157:H7, in raw beef trimmings starting June 4. The strains the FSIS will be testing for are: E.coli O26, O111, O103, O121, O45 and O145. Raw beef trimmings and tenderized steaks will be considered adulterated and illegal to sell if they are contaminated with any of the E. coli strains. There’s also a plan to include ground beef and other raw beef products in the future.
The above-mentioned strains can cause kidney failure and death, which is why this new testing is a victory for consumer safety.
The Federal Register notice is 77 FR 9888; Feb. 21, 2012.