E. coli O157:H7 is one of hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most strains are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, this strain produces a powerful toxin and can cause severe illness. Thanks to many food safety technologies used by the meat industry, E. coli O157:H7 is removed during processing and is found in ground beef less than one percent of the time.
FSIS Policy Information
- FSIS Directive 10,010.1: FSIS Microbiological Testing Program for Escherichia Coli O157:H7 in Raw Ground Beef – This Directive provides FSIS inspection program personnel, program investigators, and import inspection personnel instruction for sampling raw beef products as part of verification testing for Escherichia coli O157:H7.
- Compliance Guidelines for Establishments on the FSIS Microbiological Testing Program and Other Verification Activities for Escherichia coli O157:H7
- Draft Compliance Guideline for Sampling Beef Trimmings for Escherichia coli O157:H7
- Draft Guidance for Small and Very Small Establishments on Sampling Beef Products for Escherichia coli O157:H7
- Guidance For Beef Grinders and Suppliers Of Boneless Beef and Trim Products – Produced by the FSIS, this guide is intended to illustrates how grinders and suppliers of boneless beef and trim products can implement controls to minimize food safety hazards, such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella associated with ground beef.
- Guidance For Minimizing The Risk Of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella In Beef Slaughter Operations – Produced by the FSIS, this guide illustrates the implementation of controls to minimize food safety hazards (e.g. E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella ). This guide was designed on the belief that E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella are likely to be food hazards reasonably likely to occur in beef production.