An Evaluation of the Food Safety Requirements of the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program

Committee on An Evaluation of the Food Safety Requirements of the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program

Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, DC
www.nap.edu



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An Evaluation of the Food Safety Requirements of the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program Committee on An Evaluation of the Food Safety Requirements of the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, DC www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, Contract No. AG-3A94-C-08-0018/ AG-3A94-D-10-0082. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-17709-2 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-17709-X Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Suggested Citation: National Research Council. 2010. An Evaluation of the Food Safety Requirements of the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON AN EVALUATION OF THE FOOD SAFETY REQUIREMENTS OF THE FEDERAL PURCHASE GROUND BEEF PROGRAM GARY R. ACUFF (Chair), Texas A&M University, College Station WILLIAM K. HALLMAN, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick KERRI B. HARRIS, Texas A&M University, College Station CRAIG W. HEDBERG, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis GUY H. LONERAGAN, Texas Tech University, Lubbock JULIANA RUZANTE, University of Maryland, College Park DONALD W. SCHAFFNER, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick JOHN N. SOFOS, Colorado State University, Fort Collins JOHN G. SURAK, Surak and Associates, Clemson, South Carolina KATHERINE M.J. SWANSON, Ecolab, Inc., Eagan, Minnesota MARTIN WIEDMANN, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York Project Staff CAMILLA Y. ABLES, Study Director AUSTIN LEWIS, Study Director KAMWETI MUTU, Research Associate ROBIN A. SCHOEN, Director, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources KAREN L. IMHOF, Administrative Coordinator NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Senior Editor v

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BOARD ON AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NORMAN R. SCOTT (Chair), Cornell University, Ithaca, New York PEGGY F. BARLETT, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia HAROLD L. BERGMANN, University of Wyoming, Laramie RICHARD A. DIXON, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma DANIEL M. DOOLEY, University of California, Oakland JOAN H. EISEMANN, North Carolina State University, Raleigh GARY F. HARTNELL, Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri GENE HUGOSON, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, St. Paul KIRK C. KLASING, University of California, Davis VICTOR L. LECHTENBERG, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana PHILIP E. NELSON, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana KEITH PITTS, Marrone Bio Innovations, Davis, California CHARLES W. RICE, Kansas State University, Manhattan HAL SALWASSER, Oregon State University, Corvallis PEDRO A. SANCHEZ, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, Palisades, New York ROGER A. SEDJO, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC KATHLEEN SEGERSON, University of Connecticut, Storrs MERCEDES VAZQUEZ-AÑON, Novus International, Inc., St. Charles, Missouri Staff ROBIN A. SCHOEN, Director KAREN L. IMHOF, Administrative Coordinator AUSTIN J. LEWIS, Senior Program Officer EVONNE P.Y. TANG, Senior Program Officer PEGGY TSAI, Program Officer CAMILLA YANDOC ABLES, Associate Program Officer KARA N. LANEY, Associate Program Officer RUTH S. ARIETI, Research Associate JANET M. MULLIGAN, Research Associate KAMWETI MUTU, Research Associate KATI REIMER, Program Assistant

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Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council Report Review Committee. The purpose of the independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following for their review of the report: Robert L. Buchanan, University of Maryland James S. Dickson, Iowa State University Julie A. Funk, Michigan State University Robert Michael Hoekstra, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Jill Hollingsworth, Food Marketing Institute Scott E. Holmes, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department H. Scott Hurd, Iowa State University Douglas A. Powell, Kansas State University Michelle L. Rossman, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Angela L. Siemens, Cargill, Inc. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of the report was overseen by Drs. Kristine M. Gebbie, City University of New York, and Michael P. Doyle, University of Georgia. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of the report rests with the author committee and the institution. vii

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Contents Letter to USDA 1 SUMMARY 3 BACKGROUND 7 COMMITTEE’S STUDY APPROACH 8 THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE FEDERAL PURCHASE GROUND BEEF PROGRAM SPECIFICATIONS 9 Outbreaks Associated with Ground Beef in Schools, 9 Principles for Establishing Microbiological Criteria, 11 Indicator Microorganisms as Potential Predictors of Food Safety, 15 Agricultural Marketing Service Microbiological Requirements, 15 Statistical Process Capability, 16 Evaluation of the Statement of Work for AMS-Accredited Laboratories, 17 COMPARISON OF THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE SPECIFICATIONS WITH THOSE OF LARGE INDUSTRY PURCHASERS OF GROUND BEEF 18 RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO PERFORM FUTURE EVALUATIONS RELATIVE TO RECOGNIZED BEST PRACTICES 20 Heuristic vs Science-Based Approach to Developing Specifications and a Food Safety Assurance System, 20 Weight of Evidence and Role of Expert Opinion in Developing Science-Based Food Safety Requirements, 22 Other Considerations, 24 Overall Findings and Recommendations on How to Perform Future Periodic Evaluation of the Federal Purchase Ground Beef Program, 25 REFERENCES 27 APPENDIXES 29 Committee Members’ Biographic Sketches, 29 Acronyms and Abbreviations, 33 ix

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List of Tables and Figures TABLES 1 Microbiological Specifications of Various Companies A Through X and Upper Specification and Critical Limits of the AMS, 19 2 Relationship between the Number of Units Sampled and the Portion of the Lot that Contains the Pathogen for 95% Confidence in Detection, 22 FIGURES 1 Food safety assurance process to take appropriate action on a process or product lot, 20 2 Hierarchy of science-based food safety evidence, 23 x