FSIS Steps Up Testing of Canadian Meat and Poultry

Additional testing for salmonella and E. coli will begin on Canadian imports.

Meat and poultry imports from Canada will be subject to greater scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service beginning this week. FSIS will be testing for salmonella and E. coli, and shipments of meat and poultry will be held until test results confirm they are negative for pathogens.

"FSIS will also immediately begin an audit of the Canadian food safety system that will focus on Ranchers Beef, Ltd. and will include other similar establishments that export beef to the U.S.," says Dr. Richard Raymond, Undersecretary for Food Safety. "Based on information provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, FSIS identified this Canadian plant as a likely source of the multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to the Topps Meat Company."

Because of those findings, FSIS delisted Ranchers Beef, Ltd. on Oct. 20, 2007 and products from the company have not been eligible to come into the U.S. since that time. Raymond says FSIS will look at preliminary findings of the audit and decide whether there is need for continuation of the additional testing requirements.

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