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US Steps Up Beef Product Species Inspection

05 April 2013

US - The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is to step up species sampling of imports of raw and ready to eat products and in particular ground beef in the wake of the European horse meat scandal.

The latest notice supersedes the Office of International Affairs message that was sent to import inspection personnel in February, when incidents of horse meat contamination of beef products were first revealed in the EU.

The original message instructed import inspection personnel to select species samples from both raw and ready-to-eat (RTE) products for specific countries.

Now FSIS has reviewed the list of countries and Brazil is being removed from the sampling, but Iceland is being added, and species sampling on RTE products will be assigned by the Public Health Information System.

FSIS also will conduct species testing on any imported beef manufacturing trimmings or other raw ground beef or veal components and raw ground beef or veal samples that FSIS collects and submits for shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) analyses, irrespective of the country of origin.

FSIS added that it is increasing its species sampling for product from Iceland, Ireland, Poland, and the UK and Northern Ireland.

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