WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service will begin testing for six additional strains of E. coli in raw beef trimmings on Monday, the agency announced last week.
Raw beef trimmings, used in ground beef, will now be tested for the harmful Shiga-toxin producing E. coli serogroups O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145, in addition to the strain 0157:H.
"These strains of E. coli are an emerging threat to human health and the steps we are taking today are entirely focused on preventing Americans from suffering foodborne illnesses," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a news release. "We cannot ignore the evidence that these pathogens are a threat in our nation's food supply."
FSIS stated it has a zero tolerance policy for the new strains, and products that test positive for any of these strains won’t be allowed to enter commerce and will be subject to recall.