Additional Resources Extending Safety Summit Topics

The annual Beef Industry Safety Summit demonstrates the enduring commitment of all sectors of the beef industry to produce safe and wholesome beef products. Each year the meeting discussions address current and emerging challenges faced by the industry as well as the opportunities for improvement identified through the industry’s ongoing research efforts. The links below will connect you to comprehensive information on the cutting-edge topics discussed at this year’s Summit.

Whole Genome Sequencing

Whole genome sequencing technology has been used for years in many applications. Using this technology to detect bacteria in food is a fairly new use of this technology. The documents linked below include overview documents that describe the use and limitations of the technology as well as information on the application by government agencies.

Healthy Cattle, Safe Beef

When it comes to healthy animals, no one cares more than farmers and ranchers. The beef that farmers and ranchers raise and sell to restaurants and supermarkets is the same beef they feed their own families, so it’s no surprise that they want the best care for their livestock to ensure everyone has safe, healthy beef. Implementing new antibiotics guidelines from the FDA and working with their veterinarians more closely than ever before is just one example of how the cattle industry is continuously improving.

Producing Non-intact Beef Products

The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) defines nonintact beef products as “beef that has been injected with solutions, mechanically tenderized by needling, cubing, Frenching, or pounding devices, or reconstructed into formed entrees (e.g., beef that has been scored to incorporate a marinade, beef that has a solution of proteolytic enzymes applied to or injected into the cut of meat, or a formed and shaped product such as beef gyros)” (FSIS, 1999). Suspension marinating or “static” marinades without a vacuum are not recognized by FSIS as non-intact products (askFSIS, 2013). Additionally, FSIS added diced beef less than ¾” as another category of non-intact non-ground raw beef products (FSIS, 2014). 

Whole-muscle cuts (e.g., from the chuck, rib, tenderloin, strip loin, top sirloin butt, and round) may be treated to increase tenderness or to add ingredients for quality purposes. Treatments may include solid-needle tenderizing or tenderizing with blades, such as cubing or hollow-needle tenderizing where a solution is pumped into the whole muscle. In some cases, the solution may be a pumping solution subject to a reuse application. In these types of marinade reuse applications, it is important to employ means to ensure the reduction of potential physical, biological and chemical contaminants.

Producers of raw, non-intact whole-muscle beef products recognize that these products may pose a risk if potential pathogens are moved to the interior portions of the meat products (Krizner, 1999; Phebus et al., 2000; Lambert et al., 2001; Hajmeer et al., 2002; Luchansky et al., 2008; Ray et al.,2010; Luchansky et al.,2011; Catford et al., 2013) and the product is not cooked adequately to destroy the pathogens inside the meat product (Luchansky et al., 2009; Luchansky et al.,2011; Swartz et al.,2015). Therefore, a prudent establishment would consider a litany of possible controls to be evaluated and, upon sound decision making, use them to mitigate this potential risk.

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