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Our Views

Our Views Columns

Date: 3/12/2015

Title: 2015 Beef Industry Safety Summit

The beef industry has a long-standing commitment to providing safe beef products for the domestic and global market. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there has been more than 90 percent reduction in E.coli o157 for samplings in ground beef. In 2010, the illness rate associated with E.coli dropped to less than one case in 100,000 people – meeting the government’s Healthy People 2010 goal.

In 1997, the Beef Industry Food Safety Council, or BIFSCo, was founded as an avenue to open dialogue and continue improvement and innovation within the beef industry. BIFSCo facilitates input from cattle producers, packers, processors, distributors, restaurateurs and food retailers around beef safety, which allows for the membership to build each year on safety improvements from the past.

For the past 13 years, BIFSCo membership along with leading researchers and other stakeholders come together at the Beef Industry Safety Summit to share the latest science-based information, discuss the latest industry challenges and how they can be addressed, and hear from key industry and agency speakers. The 2015 Safety Summit, funded in part by the Beef checkoff, was held last week in Dallas.

A large portion of the meeting centered on the new research being conducted to better understand foodborne pathogens and ways to mitigate and control the risk. As a whole, the industry invests more than $550 million each year in beef safety and technology implementation and since 1993, cattlemen and women has invested more than $30 million in research programs. The research abstracts are available and BIFSCo.org and additional research is available at beefresearch.org

During the general sessions, speakers from key regulatory agencies including the Food Safety Inspection Service, Animal Plant Health inspection Service, the CDC, and the Center for Veterinary Medicine gave updates on issues important to the beef industry.

It is critical that we continue the conversation with every segment of the beef industry in order to continue providing the safest beef products available. This is why NCBA values its membership in BIFSCo and engages in important industry meetings like the Safety Summit. Being a part of latest scientific discussions and identifying opportunities where we as an industry can continually improve beef safety for our consumers is top priority.