Health Canada's Guidance Document on E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli O157:NM in Raw Beef

Bureau of Microbial Hazards
Food Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch

Issue Date: February 2014


The document provides guidance on intervention strategies to minimize the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli O157:NM in precursor material, finished raw ground beef products as well as beef products processed for raw consumption in Canada. This document also provides guidance on risk assessment and risk management approaches to reduce the risk of foodborne illness due to products that test positive for E. coli O157.

This document is intended for the beef production industry, provincial/territorial and federal governments. The information contained in this document is based on the current state of scientific evidence.

Food safety enforcement bodies at the federal, provincial and territorial level may use this guidance document as a reference to assess adherence to GMPs by beef processors, distributors, retailers, importers, and others as it relates to the reduction of E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli O157:NM in raw beef.

Thus, this guidance may be used to assess compliance with general requirements of food safety legislation or regulations, in particular, compliance with Sections 4 and 7 of the  Food and Drugs Act.

Guidance Document

To obtain an electronic copy of the document, Guidance Document on E. coli O157:H7 and E. coli O157:NM in Raw Beef, please send an e-mail to with the subject heading "HPFB BMH Guidance E. coli O157 in raw beef" or contact our publications office.

Contact Information

If you wish to contact the Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate electronically, please use the words "E. coli O157 in Raw Beef" in the subject line of your e-mail.

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