In USDA's Constituent Update, July 2, 2015, FSIS provides a summary of preliminary data for the first six months of the Beef and Veal Carcass Baseline Survey (B-VCBS) that looks at the prevalence of Salmonella and E.coli on carcasses, - after removing the hide, and after cleaning the carcass (before it goes into the chiller - pre-chill). FSIS is collecting swab samples from steers, cows, bulls, dairy cows, heifers, and veal carcasses in order to estimate the level of these organisms and to see whether and to evaluate the pre-evisceration and pre-chill dressing procedures and slaughter controls. From the document:
What do can be taken away from this:
1) The interventions used by the industry accomplish a big reduction in the level of pathogenic organisms on the meat.
2) Pathogens are present on the meat. As pointed out in the release, additional interventions may occur after chilling,, so the number of percent positive purchased by the consumer will probably be lower (and have been shown to be lower). However, consumers must still consider the fact that pathogens can be present.