American Meat Institute Says U.S. Beef Supply Is Safe; Consumers May Continue to Enjoy Beef Products With ConfidenceThursday, December 31, 2009
American Meat Institute Says U.S. Beef Supply Is Safe; Consumers May Continue to Enjoy Beef Products With Confidence
(Attribute Statement to AMI President J. Patrick Boyle)
The U.S. meat industry supply is the most regulated and inspected industry in America and U.S. meat products have an excellent food safety record that reflects food safety progress.
Some media reports have painted an incomplete picture of the U.S. beef safety in particular. Here are the facts:
- Nearly 8,000 federal inspectors oversee 6,200 meat plants nationwide. Plants that process live animals have inspectors on-site during every minute of operation. Large plants may have two dozen inspectors on-site in a day and they are fully empowered to take actions to stop production or prevent meat from entering commerce if they have concerns.
- Since 2000, E. coli O157:H7 prevalence has decreased by 45 percent in ground beef to less than one half of one percent, according to USDA ground beef sampling data.
- Salmonella prevalence in ground beef has declined more than 50 percent since 2000 according to USDA ‘s Salmonella performance data.
- Since 2000, E. coli O157:H7 infections in humans have declined by 44 percent according to Centers for Disease Control data.
- Recalls due to E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks are down over the last two years according to USDA data.
- Meat products carry federally mandated safe handling labels that recommend thorough cooking. Cooking destroys any bacteria that remain on fresh products.
The U.S. beef industry benefits by producing beef products that are as safe as we can make them. Food safety data show that we take our responsibility seriously. We proudly and confidently feed our families the same meat products we sell to customers in the U.S. and around the world.”
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