Eamich said no E coli contamination or other “product failures” have been found in the expanded testing program so far. The department is no longer requiring that importers hold shipments of Canadian meat until pathogen testing is completed, Amanda Eamich of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reported. However, she said increased inspections and testing will continue. Tests take 3 to 7 days, depending on the pathogen, officials have said. A spike in E colirelated meat recalls this year prompted the USDA in October to vow to take a number of steps to combat the problem. As of Oct 23, the agency said E coli in ground beef had sparked 15 recalls, eight of which involved illnesses. In 2006 there were just eight such recalls, none involving illnesses, the agency said. The USDA has also been inspecting the Rancher’s Beef plant and several other Canadian meat facilities that were previously flagged for problems or are similar to Rancher’s Beef in their operations. The dropping of the requirement to hold meat during testing “was due to the preliminary findings of our audits and the first week or so of testing,” Eamich told CIDRAP News. “We had previously said we would reassess after we got the preliminary data.” Eamich said the USDA has long had guidelines recommending that companies hold meat until test results come back, “but it’s not something we require,” she said. She added that there are no proposals to change that. See also: The expanded USDA program, according to the Nov 8 announcement, includes increased inspections of Canadian meat, poultry, and pasteurized egg products; more testing of raw ground beef for E coli O157:H7; the initiation of E coli testing of beef trim, boxed beef, and certain other cuts of meat that had not been tested before; and increased testing of ready-to-eat products for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. A Nov 18 report in USA Today said the agency might require companies to hold meat during testing. Nov 8 CIDRAP News story “USDA vows to double inspections of Canadian meat” Mark Dopp, an American Meat Institute (AMI) official, said large companies already hold meat during testing, according to the USA Today report. He said more companies, but not all, embraced that practice after USDA and AMI began recommending it several years ago. Nov 21, 2007 (CIDRAP News) The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has modified its program of increased testing and inspection of Canadian meat, after finding no problems in the first week or so, a USDA official said today. On a related issue, Eamich said the USDA is not considering requiring American meat companies to hold meat until pathogen testing is completed, contrary to a recent news report. The USDA announced Nov 8 it would roughly double its inspections and testing of Canadian meat and poultry products. The move came after beef trim from a Canadian packing plant, Rancher’s Beef of Balzac, Alta., was implicated in an Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to ground beef from Topps Meat Co. of Elizabeth, N.J. Topps went out of business after recalling more than 21 million pounds of ground beef in September. Oct 23 CIDRAP News story “USDA announces plans to reduce E coli contamination in ground beef”
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Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, appearing to run out of space to contain a historic supply glut that has hammered prices, in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016.Reuters fileOil prices slipped on Tuesday after a report showed that OPEC , although the losses were limited as concerns about supply lingered.September Brent crude futures fell 7 cents to $74.90 a barrel by 0109 GMT after rising 68 cents, or 0.9 percent, on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) were down 6 cents at $70.08, after rising more than 2 percent in the previous session.A Reuters survey showed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increased production in July. OPEC hiked production by 70,000 barrels per day to 32.64 million bpd, a 2018 high. Further supply increases could offset production outages and pressure prices.WTI rose on Tuesday on expectations that U.S. inventories fell last week and worry that an outage at a Syncrude facility in Canada will not be solved as soon as expected, traders said. Crude inventories at the Oklahoma, delivery point for WTI have been dwindling, in part due to the Syncrude outage that has reduced the flow of oil into the hub. Stocks at the Cushing storage hub fell to 23.7 million barrels, the lowest since November 2014 in the week to July 20.Energy information company Genscape, however, said that inventories at Cushing rose almost 200,000 barrels, or nearly 1 percent, from Tuesday to Friday last week, according to traders.Oil prices have rebounded from recent lows over the last two weeks, as looming sanctions on Iran have already started to curtail exports from that country. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he would meet with Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani. A gas flare on an oil production platform is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf July 25, 2005 (representational image).Reuters fileOil prices have been severely hit over the last month by several factors including a worker’s strike in Norway, the reintroduction of sanctions on Iran and the halting of shipments through the Red Sea after two Saudi tankers were damaged in attacks by the Houthi rebels.