The large recall of ground beef products last week by a Michigan packing company followed closely on the heels of the USDA announcing its plans to enhance the food safety testing program for ground beef this summer. Their labs will now be testing for both E. coli and Salmonella in all samples of ground beef. Many may have been under the assumption that the USDA already did this, but this is a big change in USDA policy. Normally samples taken to test for E. coli are much larger than samples used to test for Salmonella, so all things considered, this new enhancement of the food safety testing program should prove to be more successful. Consumers should still take the necessary precautions when handling and cooking ground beef. Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw meat and be sure to wash cutting boards, utensils and bowls used to prepare ground beef with hot soapy water and rinse well. Don’t use the same plate to put your cooked meat on that you used to carry raw product to the stove or barbecue. And remember, you can’t tell just by looking if meat is done to the proper temperature, be sure to use a food thermometer. For food safety tips and information visit the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website.