Nationwide Survey on Beef and Veal Carcass Baseline

On Aug. 1, 2014, FSIS initiated a 12-month nationwide Beef and Veal Carcass Baseline Survey (B-VCBS) to collect samples from steer, heifer, cow, bull, dairy cow, and veal carcasses (heavy calves, bob veal, and non-formula fed veal) at two points along the slaughter line–immediately after hide removal (pre-evisceration) and after all anti-microbial interventions (pre-chill). FSIS anticipates scheduling approximately 1,500 paired samples (i.e. a sample collected from the same carcass at two points) during the survey.

FSIS is currently analyzing the samples for foodborne bacterial pathogens, including the presence and levels of Salmonella,Escherichia coli (E. coli)O157:H7, and non-O157 Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC). Levels of indicator bacteria, including total bacteria (aerobic plate count (APC), generic E. coli, coliforms, and Enterobacteriaceae will also be analyzed to evaluate process control during the slaughter process.

For transparency, FSIS is sharing the data from the first four months of the B-VCBS. The preliminary results are consistent with the results obtained during shakedown, and display an apparent reduction of pathogens and indicator bacteria between the two sampling points.