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Beef Veal Carcase Survey Shows High Salmonella in Dairy Cows Pre-evisceration

24 October 2014

The preliminary findings of a Nationwide Survey on Beef and Veal Carcase Baseline being conducted by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service in to has shown that dairy cows have a higher incidence of Salmonella at pre-evisceration in the slaughterhouse compared to the other beef subclasses and veal.

The 12 month Nationwide Beef and Veal Carcass Baseline Survey (B-VCBS) which was launched in August aims to collect data for future risk assessments and to develop regulatory policy options.

It is being conducted in establishments slaughtering beef and/or veal carcases.

During this survey, FSIS field employees are collecting samples from steer, heifer, cow, bull, dairy cow and veal carcases at two points along the slaughter line—immediately after hide removal (pre-evisceration) and at pre-chill (after all anti-microbial interventions).

Veal samples are being collected from heavy calves and Bob veal, as well as non-formula fed and formula fed veal.

FSIS anticipates it will look at about 3,000 samples.

FSIS is collecting data on select foodborne bacterial pathogens, including presence and levels of Salmonella, Escherichia coliO157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC), as well as levels of indicator bacteria, including total bacteria (aerobic plate count or APC), generic E. coli, coliforms, and Enterobacteriaceae.

FSIS will use APC, generic E. coli, coliforms, and Enterobacteriaceae data to evaluate process control during the slaughter process.

Following the preliminary findings of a higher Salmonella count in dairy cow carcases pre-evisceration, the study so far has discovered that veal has a higher incidence of Salmonella at pre-chill when compared to beef.

Veal also has a higher incidence of non-O157 STEC at both sampling locations when compared to beef. And it has a higher generic E. coli at pre-chill when compared to beef subclasses.

Beef has a higher APC - aerobic plate count - at pre-evisceration compared to veal samples.

FSIS said that the findings are from the shakedown phase of the survey and do not represent the final results.

The official results will be released in the final report after the actual 12-month survey has concluded.

October 2014


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