In response to the European horse meat scandal, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced that they will be ramping up species sampling and testing.
Inspectors will increase testing of raw and ready-to-eat meat products coming to the country from Iceland, Ireland, Poland, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. All tests of imported raw ground beef or veal will also increase, including products that are already tested for a toxin that produces E. coli bacteria.
“We are confident that the inspection system at ports of entry ensures the safety of products that come into our country every day,” said Catherine Cochran, a spokeswoman for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. “However, in response to recent events and consumer concerns, we are increasing species testing to enhance current safeguards and prevent fraudulently labeled products from entering the country.”
USDA officials have acknowledged that species testing for meat imported into the US has been performed typically only when there’s a reason to question a shipment. The statement did not note a specific schedule for testing.