FSIS is proposing updated Salmonella performance standards for raw ground beef and new Salmonella performance standards for beef manufacturing trimmings, a primary component of raw ground beef. FSIS is proposing both standards to ensure that establishments are consistently controlling or reducing Salmonella, a harmful bacteria not ordinarily considered an adulterant in raw beef products.

To meet the proposed standards, establishments that produce more than 50,000 pounds of ground beef and/or beef manufacturing trimmings per day would need to have no more than two Salmonella positives out of 48 FSIS samples in a period of 52 weeks. If the proposal is finalized, the agency would post on its website individual establishments as either “meeting” or “not meeting” the performance standards.

In addition, FSIS is proposing to increase Salmonella sampling in beef establishments producing more than 50,000 pounds of raw ground beef and/or beef manufacturing trimmings per day from four per month to once per week, with the goal of collecting and analyzing at least 48 samples in the 52-week moving window. Because each sample is currently analyzed for the applicable Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and for Salmonella, the change would also increase E. coli sampling in these establishments.

FSIS is seeking public comments on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The agency will analyze comments and respond to them when announcing the final standards in the Federal Register. Comments may be submitted online via the federal eRulemaking portal, available at http://www.regulations.gov; by mail sent to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3758, Room 6065, Washington, D.C., 20250-3700, or by hand or courier delivery to 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, D.C., 20250-3700. All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the agency name and docket number FSIS-2018-0045.

Source: FSIS