Wednesday, September 14, 2011

USDA Declaring Six Serotypes of E. coli as Adulterants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today is declaring six other serogroups of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145). The Agency has determined that they, as well as O157:H7, are adulterants of non-intact raw beef products and product components within the meaning of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA).

Beginning in March 2012, any raw ground beef, its components, and tenderized steaks that test positive for non-O157:H7 Shiga-toxin producing E.coli strains O26, O103, O45, O111, O121 and O145 will be banned from being sold for public consumption.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified these particular serogroups of non-O157:H7 Shiga-toxin producing E.coli, or non-O157 STEC, as those responsible for the greatest numbers of non-O157 STEC illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States.

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