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Using Critical Parameters to Ensure Efficacy of Selected Harvest and Fabrication Intervention Strategies Used to Control Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and Salmonella


<P> Food safety is a dynamic situation, and the beef industry continues to be criticized for contributing to foodborne illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control reported a decline in foodborne infections related to Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7, but an increase in Salmonella infections. These have been the two primary pathogens of concern in raw beef products, and today the non-O157:H7 STECs are added to the list of concerns. Pressure
continues to be placed on establishments by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to improve their food safety programs which should then result in continued decreases in foodborne illnesses and product recalls. </p><P> Unfortunately, we continue to struggle with recalls and food safety illnesses associated with beef. Based on discussions with establishments and variation in pathogen testing results across establishments, it is apparent that establishments need additional data on the critical parameters of the available interventions. These data will allow them to improve their HACCP and food safety programs to ensure that the in-plant interventions are being applied in a manner to achieve optimal efficacy and to ensure that they are monitoring the parameters that are crucial for successfully controlling the pathogens of concern. Therefore, this project investigated variables that impact the efficacy of interventions and aimed to identify the critical parameters and procedures for effectively monitoring them. </p>

Harris, Kerri
Texas A&M University
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