Food Safety Rules Tightened After E. coli Recall

WASHINGTON - U.S. food safety inspectors said Tuesday they will expand tests and recall infected meat more rapidly to combat E. coli contamination of meat products after the largest American manufacturer of hamburger patties went out of business this month.
calendar icon 24 October 2007
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The U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a briefing the number of E. coli recalls climbed to 15 so far in 2007 compared to the five cases reported in all of 2005.

"We want the American consumer to know that FSIS has taken a number of aggressive actions ... associated with this pathogen and we are further expanding these efforts," said Under Secretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond.

FSIS said it increased the number of tests of ground beef by more than 75 percent in July and began planning for a new follow-up testing program for federally inspected beef plants that had tested positive for E. coli.

"Lessons learned from a number of recalls, including the recent Topps recall, emphasized the need for us to do even more to strengthen our policies and programs," said Raymond.

Topps Meat Co LLC, the biggest manufacturer of frozen hamburgers in the country, went out of business early this month after it was crushed by the recall of 21.7 million pounds of beef linked to 30 cases of E. coli-related illness.

Source: Reuters
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