Date of this Version
In July 1996, the USDA published the Final Rule on Pathogen Reduction for meat and poultry processing facilities. Its goal is to reduce the occurrence of food-borne pathogens in meat and poultry products. The rule requires carcass sampling for "generic" E. coli in meat and poultry slaughter operations. The USDA has developed guidelines for acceptable, marginal and unacceptable amounts of E. coli to be used by the processor to determine if their process is controlling microbial hazards. If E. coli testing indicates that the process is not in control of the microbial hazards, then the processors may have to make changes to make the process safer.
This guide was developed to assist processors in sampling of the carcass and in interpretation of the results.