NCBA Statement on Beef Products, Inc., Announcement to Expand Safety Testing
WASHINGTON – J.O. “Bo” Reagan, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Senior Vice President of Research, Education & Innovation, issued the following statement regarding the recent announcement from Beef Products, Inc.,(BPI) that the company will begin testing for an additional six strains of pathogenic E. coli, commonly referred to as non-O157 Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Reagan also serves as chairman of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo) as well as leader of the industry’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on beef safety.
“As the oldest and largest national association representing the nation’s beef cattle industry, NCBA is committed to producing, delivering and serving safe, wholesome and nutritious beef for consumers in the United States and abroad. Through the Blue Ribbon Task Force and BIFSCo, NCBA is committed to doing our part to ensure the safety of beef and beef products. We support research to determine critical virulence factors of non-O157 STECs associated with human illness and all collaborative food safety research to ensure we have the latest science and knowledge to guide our industry forward.
“NCBA is not alone in its efforts because everyone plays a role in the safety of beef. BPI recently announced it is taking it upon itself as a processor of lean beef to take additional steps to determine whether current interventions and safety process control measures are working against these non-O157 STECs. You can’t test your way to a safe product but you can test to ensure the process controls in place are working. BPI’s decision to move forward in testing for these pathogens speaks well for BPI’s commitment to the safety of its products.”