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Home > News & Events > Resolutions > AR - 2012-03

Association of Food and Drug Officials


Resolution 3

Submitted by: AFDO Board of Directors

Date: April 15, 2012

Concerning: Testing for non-O157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli serotypes

Whereas, E. coli O157:H7 is a common strain associated with foodborne illness and deaths in the United States, and

Whereas, Australia, Argentina, and Canada report non-O157:H7 Shiga-toxin E. coli (STEC) infections to be as prevalent or more prevalent than O157:H7, and

Whereas, pathogenic non-O157:H7 strains of E. coli are not routinely tested due to the difficulty in identifying and confirming them from the non-pathogenic STEC and the lack of reliable, validated laboratory methods and

Whereas, ground beef, unpasteurized milk, fermented meat products, and apple cider have historically been associated with STEC infections with ground beef having been associated with more STEC outbreaks than any other food product and

Whereas, sampling and testing of ground beef has revealed a number of concerns including test kit weaknesses, shortcomings with screen and confirmation methods, and the need for additional validation and real-life analyses to identify and address weaknesses, therefore

Be it resolved that AFDO advise USDA/FSIS that more effort to research and validate testing is needed and that FSIS should work with and share test materials with state labs in order to address this matter, and

Be it further resolved that AFDO recommend to USDA/FSIS that they consider working in conjunction with state programs to conduct validation studies in state-accredited (ISO 17025) labs to attempt to identify and address weaknesses in both the screening and confirmation steps.

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