On February 1, 2023, FSIS intends to stop using the N60 excision sampling method to sample domestic beef manufacturing trimmings and bench trim for adulterant Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli) (STEC) and Salmonella. FSIS intends to replace the N60 excision sampling method with a non-destructive surface sampling method that uses a cloth manual sampling device. FSIS has found that the cloth sampling method is as effective as the N60 excision sampling method at recovering organisms in beef manufacturing trimmings. Additionally, the cloth sampling method is faster and safer for FSIS inspection program personnel (IPP) to use because it does not require IPP to use hooks or knives to collect samples. Moreover, the cloth sampling method allows FSIS to sample without destroying product, which reduces food waste.
FSIS will implement the cloth sampling on February 1, 2023, unless the Agency receives substantive comments that warrant further review. Submit comments on or before January 23, 2023.