Statement of CSPI food safety director Caroline Smith DeWaal
USDA’s announcement today of new measures to reduce E. coli contamination in meat is a step in the right direction. I’m glad that the Department has decided to reverse its previous policy, which exempted far too many beef plants and grinding facilities from government testing. USDA should move promptly to require that beef carcasses and trim also be tested for E. coli O157:H7 contamination before they end up in ground beef.
Now Congress has to act to give the Food Safety and Inspection Service the resources it needs to get the job done, by providing money for more E. coli O157:H7 testing. That way, Americans could have greater confidence that the meat they buy is free of dangerous pathogens.