Nationwide Beef and Veal Carcass Microbiological Baseline Survey
FSIS will launch a 12-month Nationwide Beef and Veal Carcass Baseline Survey (B-VCBS) to sample establishments that slaughter and process beef and veal carcasses. During this survey, FSIS will collect samples from the carcasses of steers, heifers, cows, bulls, stag, dairy cows, and veal at two locations in the slaughter process, immediately after hide removal (pre-evisceration) and at pre-chill (after all anti-microbial interventions). This study will provide FSIS the data on percent positives and quantitative levels of select foodborne bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella sp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, non-O157 Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) and levels of indicator bacteria, including total bacteria (aerobic plate count), generic E. coli, coliforms and Enterobacteriaceae. Data obtained from B-VCBS will be used for the estimation of the national prevalence of select pathogens, assessment of slaughter dressing procedures and process control, development of performance guidelines and for other policy considerations.
The study design and sampling plan for B-VCBS can be found in Related Documents.
During the shakedown phase of this study, FSIS will accept comments from all stakeholders. Based on stakeholder input, FSIS may consider adjustments to the final study design and sampling plan, within the confines of feasibility and time. FSIS will initiate the shakedown phase (training period) of the B-VCBS in October 2013. During this phase, FSIS will prepare its personnel for the actual study, further refine the eligibility of the beef and veal carcass slaughter plants for inclusion in the study, and identify necessary modifications to the survey and design before conducting the actual 12-month survey.