CANADA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has revised its policy to control E. coli in raw beef products.
The move is a bid to provide clear guidance to industry and inspection staff regarding required control measures to address the risk posed by this pathogen.
The update revises the provision on mandatory testing for precursor materials (PM) used to manufacture finished raw ground beef products to be sold at retail.
The CFIA will only permit exemption from mandatory testing to operators that have requested and provided an acceptable alternative control program that ensures untested precursor materials will not be used for finished raw ground beef products at any level of distribution.
The operators alternative control programme must be documented in their HACCP system and must include procedures to verify the end use.
The CFIA has advised meat processors to include the revision in their Manual of Procedures. Plants have 30 days from 27 April, to reassess and realign their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system to incorporate the process controls.
The revision also updates the section that covers shipping untested raw beef products to another establishment for cooking where both establishments must identify the presence of E. coli O157:H7 and have control programmes in place for labelling untested product, segregation, inventory and traceability.
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