Concerns over an increase in E. coli 0157:H7 positives in samples of ground beef and trim, and an increase in the number of product recalls, was cause enough for USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service to issue a new directive. This latest directive instructs off-line inspection program personnel about how to verify that cattle slaughter operations are focusing on sanitary dressing and process control procedures and that those procedures are under control.
This directive also provides information describing how inspection personnel are to verify that establishments have validated their HACCP systems. The directive expresses an expectation that such validation addresses the impact of the sanitary dressing and process control procedures that include the decontamination and antimicrobial intervention treatments, as well as the feedback on microbial test results from trim and ground beef sampling that the slaughter establishment receives from subsequent raw beef processing operations.
Inspection personnel have been directed not to implement this directive until June 1, 2009.