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US: FSIS provides Listeria sampling guidance

FSIS intends to announce in the Federal Register, changes it will make in its procedures for Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) product sampling programs in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.

The agency intends to increase the number of product samples it collects under its routine Risk-based Lm (RLm) sampling program and its intensified verification testing protocol from 3 to 5 samples per sampling unit. In addition, FSIS intends to announce that its laboratories will composite the five 25-g product samples from the RLm sampling program, which will increase the sample size of the analyzed test portion from 25 g to 125 g. Increasing the number of samples collected and compositing the samples will make the agency's sampling procedures more consistent with international practices and conserve laboratory resources.

In addition, these changes will increase the potential that FSIS will find positive results and help keep contaminated product from reaching the marketplace, thereby improving public health. 

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