(a) Criteria for verifying process control; E. coli testing.
(1) Each official establishment that slaughters ratites shall test for Escherichia coli Biotype I (E. coli). Establishments that slaughter ratites and livestock, shall test the type of ratites or livestock slaughtered in the greatest number. The establishment shall:
(i) Collect samples in accordance with the sampling techniques, methodology, and frequency requirements in paragraph (a)(2) of this section;
(ii) Obtain analytic results in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section; and
(iii) Maintain records of such analytic results in accordance with paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
(2) Sampling requirements.
(i) Written procedures. Each establishment that slaughters ratites shall prepare written specimen collection procedures which shall identify employees designated to collect samples, and shall address location(s) of sampling, how sampling randomness is achieved, and handling of the sample to ensure sample integrity. The written procedure shall be made available to FSIS upon request.
(ii) Sample collection. The establishment must collect samples from whole ratites at the end of the chilling process. Samples from ratites may be collected by sponging the carcass on the back and thigh or samples can be collected by rinsing the whole carcass in an amount of buffer appropriate for that type of bird.
(iii) Sampling frequency. Establishments that slaughter ratites, except very low volume ratite establishments as defined in paragraph (a)(2)(v) of this section, must take samples at a frequency proportional to the establishment's volume of production at the following rate: 1 sample per 3,000 carcasses, but at a minimum one sample each week of operation.
(iv) Sampling frequency alternatives. An establishment operating under a validated HACCP plan in accordance with § 417.2(b) of this chapter may substitute an alternative frequency for the frequency of sampling required under paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section if,
(A) The alternative is an integral part of the establishment's verification procedures for its HACCP plan and,
(B) FSIS does not determine, and notify the establishment in writing, that the alternative frequency is inadequate to verify the effectiveness of the establishment's processing controls.
(v) Sampling in very low volume ratite establishments.
(A) Very low volume ratite establishments annually slaughter no more than 6,000 ratites. Very low volume ratite establishments that slaughter ratites in the largest number must collect at least one sample during each week of operation after June 1 of each year, and continue sampling at a minimum of once each week the establishment operates until June of the following year or until 13 samples have been collected, whichever comes first.
(B) Upon the establishment's meeting the requirements of paragraph (a)(2)(v)(A) of this section, weekly sampling and testing is optional, unless changes are made in establishment facilities, equipment, personnel or procedures that may affect the adequacy of existing process control measures, as determined by the establishment or by FSIS. FSIS determinations that changes have been made requiring resumption of weekly testing shall be provided to the establishment in writing.
(3) Analysis of samples. Laboratories may use any quantitative method for analysis of E. coli that is approved as an AOAC Official Method of the AOAC International (formerly the Association of Official Analytical Chemists) or approved and published by a scientific body and based on the results of a collaborative trial conducted in accordance with an internationally recognized protocol on collaborative trials and compared against the three tube Most Probable Number (MPN) method and agreeing with the 95 percent upper and lower confidence limit of the appropriate MPN index.
(4) Recording of test results. The establishment shall maintain accurate records of all test results, in terms of colony forming units (CFU)/ml of rinse fluid. Results shall be recorded onto a process control chart or table showing at least the most recent 13 test results. Records shall be retained at the establishment for a period of 12 months and shall be made available to FSIS upon request.
(5) Establishments shall evaluate E. coli test results using statistical process control techniques.
(6) Failure to meet criteria. Test results that do not meet the criteria described in paragraph (a)(5) of this section are an indication that the establishment may not be maintaining process controls sufficient to prevent fecal contamination. FSIS shall take further action as appropriate to ensure that all applicable provisions of the law are being met.
(7) Failure to test and record. Inspection will be suspended in accordance with rules of practice that will be adopted for such proceeding, upon a finding by FSIS that one or more provisions of paragraphs (a) (1) through (4) of this section have not been complied with and written notice of same has been provided to the establishment.