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ID NEWS: BIFSCo prepares to implement beef E. coli strategy

The "Interventions, Best Practices and Research Plan" to reduce E. coli thoughout the beef production chain is set to roll out within 45 days. The plan is targeted at all sectors, from cattle production, fabrication, and processing, to retail and foodservice.

Formulated by members of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo), the plan was approved by more than 200 participants at a recent steering committee meeting. The gathering in Denver was a follow-up to an E. coli summit held three months ago.
"This plan will be a 'living document' for the entire beef production chain," comments James O. Reagan, PhD, vice president, research and knowledge management, National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), Centennial, CO. NCBA manages check-off funded beef safety programs, including BIFSCo, on behalf of the Cattlemen's Beef Board.

"Each industry sector and individual operation will be able to look to it for the most up-to-date understanding of how to best reduce the incidence of this pathogen," Reagan further notes.

"This initiative is becoming the principal platform for E. coli management, because it has been able to connect individual sector plans and facilitate expectation sharing across sectors," adds Rosemary Mucklow, executive director o the National Meat Association.

At the Denver-based meeting, BIFSCo members also discussed the possibility of creating a database to house E. coli data throughout the chain.

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