Beef Safety

NCBA Comments:

 Cooperative Inspection Programs: Interstate Shipment of Meat and Poultry  (70 KB)

 Irradiation as a Processing Aid for use on Chilled Beef Carcasses (175 KB)

 Pre-Harvest Management COntrols and Intervention Options for reducing E. coli 0157:H7 Shedding in Cattle (70 KB)

 Preliminary Draft Guidance HACCP Systems Validation  (70 KB)

 NCBA Non-O157 STECs Regulation



Beef Safety Background

Cattle producers’ top priority is to produce the safest and highest quality beef in the world. This has been consistent throughout our industry’s history and in our long-term efforts to continually improve out knowledge and ability to raise healthy cattle. Additionally, NCBA has worked diligently to find pre- and post-harvest interventions to decreases as much as possible, the potential load of bacterial pathogens in our beef products. All safety programs must be based on science, focus on industry application, and have a strong research foundation. Everyone must play a role in ensuring food safety. Consumers should always follow the food handling, cooking, and storage steps that are essential to prevent foodborne illness. USDA has an effective voluntary recall system. Under a voluntary system, USDA can initiate recalls within hours. Any changes to food safety legislation must fit within that structure without demanding additional funding from regulated companies. It is critical that USDA continue funding food safety research at a high level.

Food Safety from NCBA point of view

Pre- and Post-harvest- NCBA believes that both pre and post-harvest science-based interventions are vital parts of the entire safety system in the beef industry. Just as important is the need for extensive research to ensure that intervention applications are science-proven, have a strong research foundation and focus on industry application.

Interstate Shipment of Meats- Cattle producers fully support market-driven opportunities that increase beef demand. The ability for state-inspected plants to participate in this program will give many smaller packing plants the ability to expand into new markets. Growth and new opportunities for these smaller plants means that they will have the opportunity to buy more cattle from producers.

Carcass Irradiation- Our beef industry has found food irradiation as a safe way to address microbial growth of pathogens such as E. coli, while maintaining the integrity of the food and its nutritional value. The use of food irradiation is a safe processing tool that is an approved processing aid for food in 50 countries.
(Link to: NCBA Carcass Irradiation Comments 10-17-2008-Food Safety.pdf)

HACCP- NCBA and cattle producers encourage USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to continue outreach efforts to small and very small establishments to adopt Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). HACCP plans were pro-actively developed by the food industry as a method to identify and prevent potential safety hazards. In 1996, FSIS enacted a rule requiring HACCP plans at all beef processing plants. Every meat processing facility undergoes ongoing reviews of their HACCP
plans, which focus on process controls rather than testing as a means to protect public health.

Additional Information

NCBA Contact

Kristina Harris Butts
Send an email 
202-347-0228

NCBA is on Capitol Hill...

...taking care of our needs while we are out in the fields
taking care of our animals and our land.

-Tony Turri - California