Laboratory Sampling

The meat and poultry program has an ongoing residue monitoring program to detect and prevent the misuse of chemicals (i.e. antibiotics) during the production of livestock. The program is responsible for identifying any high-risk animals and collecting samples for laboratory analysis to determine if violative levels of chemical residues are present.

Microbiological contamination is another major issue facing the meat industry. Pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella are concerns when producing fully cooked, ready-to-eat products. Extensive research has been conducted to learn more about environmental contamination in operations producing ready-to-eat foods to help minimize the risk of Listeria monocytogenes and other pathogens on fully cooked products. KDA inspectors randomly select finished products to test for these pathogens. Any products found to be contaminated will be prevented from entering the food supply or will be recalled if already in commerce.

Pathogen Testing Requirements

Each facility under the "Equal To" program must conduct testing for important food safety bacteria. Some sampling and testing must be conducted and paid for by the facility. Other sampling and testing is routinely conducted by the inspector. Other testing of product may also be required in certain situations for other product characteristics such as water activity or pH.

The Meat and Poultry Inspection Program will collect routine microbiological samples for analysis in the Kansas Department of Agriculture's laboratory for the following:

  • Salmonella: Performed on both raw product samples and Ready-To-Eat samples
  • Listeria: Performed on Ready-To-Eat samples
  • E. coli 0157:H7: Conducted in facilities that process beef carcasses or ground beef

Inspected facilities are responsible for laboratory testing of their products for certain microbiological contaminates. These include:

  • Generic E. coli testing: All facilities with slaughter operations must collect these samples and have them tested at an accredited laboratory on a routine basis. The facility must have a written plan describing how this sampling is conducted and must reveal the results of the tests. 
  • Listeria testing: Facilities that produce Ready-To-Eat product must develop a written Listeria testing plan to address the number, location and frequency of sampling as well as identifying how they will handle positive tests. Sampling must be done on a routine basis. More information on the general requirements for Listeria testing can be found in 9 CFR 430 (2008) or the USDA’s Compliance Guidelines for Listeria. For inspected facilities to report annual Ready-To-Eat Post-Lethality Exposed Products, use Production Survey Form MP-10,240-1.

The following chart is a list of routine samples taken for each Kansas inspected facility during 2013. 


Calendar Year 2013

Number of Routine Samples Per Facility

E. coli 0157:H7    Raw Beef


E. coli 0157:H7 and non-0157:H7 STECs Raw Beef Trim   (derived from cattle slaughtered on-site)


E. coli 0157:H7  Raw Beef Bench Trim


E. coli 0157:H7  Raw Beef Trim Component   (other than trim)


Listeria monocytogenes /Salmonella  (Ready-To-Eat)


Listeria monocytogenes Intense Verification Testing

¼ of all facilities – to be determined

Salmonella/Campylobacter Poultry Rinse


Salmonella Raw  <1000 lbs/day


Salmonella Raw  >1000 lbs/day


USDA FSIS publishes sampling frequencies annually. 

After October 1, 2012, KDA will begin incrementally testing raw beef for the six additional shiga toxin e. coli (STEC) strains (026, 045, 0103, 0111, 0121, and 0145) which are classified as adulterants.  Eventually, all raw beef will be analyzed for 7 shiga toxin e. coli (STEC) strains.