Wal-Mart Stores will require additional beef safety measures from its beef suppliers, including validating their food safety measures through specialized testing. The new program requires Wal-Mart and Sam's Club beef suppliers to implement controls that would significantly reduce potential contamination levels and validate that the measures they've implemented are effective through specialized testing.
The new process controls standards and goals and is in addition to a food safety program that already requires ground beef suppliers to test for E.coli O157:H7 and achieve prevention-based certification against one of the Global Food Safety Initiative internationally recognized standards.
Beef slaughterhouse suppliers face a two-step approach with the first step to be completed by June 2011 and the second by June 2012. Suppliers who do not operate slaughterhouses must be in compliance with the new standard by June 2011. Company officials say they will work closely with beef suppliers to ensure the new requirement is implemented without additional cost to customers.