April 29, 2010
BENTONVILLE, Ark.Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., will implement additional beef safety measures designed to further protect customers against foodborne illnesses. The new process controls standards and goals are additions to a food-safety program that already requires ground beef suppliers to test for E.coli O 157:H7 and achieve prevention-based certification against one of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) internationally recognized standards.
The new program requires Walmart and Sam's Club beef suppliers to implement controls that would significantly reduce potential contamination levels and validate that the measures they've implemented are effective through specialized testing. Suppliers who do not operate slaughter houses must be in compliance with the new standard by June 2011. For beef slaughterhouse suppliers, there is a two-step approach with the first step to be completed by June 2011 and the second by June 2012.
"At Walmart and Sam's Club, our commitment to providing our customers with safe, quality foods is unparalleled," said Frank Yiannas, vice president for food safety. "As part of our continuous improvement efforts, we go further than many U.S. retailers in requiring leading-edge food safety standards throughout the entire food production chain. In light of recent beef recalls, we determined it was prudent to require an additional layer of protection for our customers.
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