Food Safety

We are supplying this information to ensure our customers that the food safety and quality programs that Upper Iowa Beef has implemented will meet or exceed all regulatory requirements for the production, sale and distribution of wholesome meat products.


We have a Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Program in accordance with Federal Regulations 9 CFR 417.  This plan has been validated and re-assessed annually for effectiveness.   Critical Control Points (CCP’s) are in place for:

  • Enteric pathogens (specifically coli O157:H7 and related STEC’s)
  • Zero Tolerance for fecal material, milk, and ingesta (USDA Directive 6,240.2)
  • Chilling temperatures


To ensure sanitary conditions before and during operations, a Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) Program in accordance with 9 CFR 416 has been implemented.  Scientific studies have shown that the best approach to eliminate pathogens of concern is the multiple hurdle approach.  Upper Iowa Beef utilizes several technological approaches to reduce or eliminate these pathogens including hot water rinse, organic and PAA acid rinses on carcasses, sub-primals and organs, BoviBrom bromine treatment of carcasses, as well as cold chain management.  In addition to these interventions, we have the traditional inspection and trimming practices on the slaughter and fabrication production areas.  All of these interventions have been validated to reduce or eliminate pathogens of concern including, but not limited to, E. coli O157:H7, the top six non-O157 STEC’s, and Salmonella.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) are in use for all employees, visitors and regulatory officials at the facility.

Pathogen Testing

In accordance with 9 CFR 310.25, we have incorporated a robust sampling plan for carcasses, sub-primals and trimmings destined for ground beef.  We utilize an N=60 sampling plan for trimmings and sub-primals destined for ground beef to ensure the absence of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella.  Samples are sent to accredited third-party laboratories, which use 100% of the samples sent according to AOAC approved methods.  Certificates Of Analysis (COA’s) accompany each shipment.  Laboratory credentials may be supplied upon request.  Carcasses are swabbed for generic E. coli per requirements of 9 CFR 310.25.

Humane Handling

The personnel at Upper Iowa Beef are committed to the cattle in our care, as well as to our customers.  Therefore, we have effected a stringent Animal Welfare Program in full compliance with all provisions of humane handling rules and regulations including 9 CFR 313.  First, all producers supplying cattle must be pre-approved regarding nutrition, handling and transportation of livestock.  Secondly, Quality Assurance personnel in conjunction with USDA veterinarians monitor all aspects of live animal handling and slaughter procedures.  Monitoring steps include, but are not limited to, unloading practices, holding, stunning and harvest.

Specified Risk Materials (SRM’s)

At Upper Iowa Beef, we remove, segregate, and properly dispose of all Specified Risk Materials (SRM’s), prohibited by Notice 4-04, Notice 56-07 (the final regulations for non-ambulatory disabled cattle and specified risk materials) and Federal Register 9 CFR, parts 301 and 309, including tonsils, small intestine and spinal cord of all animals as well as skull, eyes, brain, vertebral column and dorsal root ganglia, of cattle 30 months and older.  In addition, producers are screened to ensure compliance with 9 CFR 589.2000, which bans the use of “prohibited mammalian protein” specifically feeding ruminant meat and bone meal to ruminant animals.

Downer Animals

Non-ambulatory (downer animals) are not harvested for human consumption.  We comply with FSIS Notice 56-07, the final regulation for non-ambulatory disabled cattle and specified risk materials.

Residue Sampling

Upper Iowa Beef also complies with FSIS Directive 10,800.1 entitled “Residue Sampling.  Testing and Other Verification Procedures under the National Residue Program for Meat and Poultry Products” to verify the control of animal drug residues, pesticides, environmental contaminants, and any other chemical hazards.

Additional Information

Other food safety programs in use at Upper Iowa Beef:

  • Event Program listing criteria for corrective and preventive actions for any samples that may be positive for a pathogen of concern.
  • Food Defense Program
  • Allergen Program
  • Labeling Program
  • Recall Program
  • BRC Certified

Lastly, Upper Iowa Beef, Est. 45321 is a USDA inspected facility.  The plant personnel and each animal that is harvested and processed is under the supervision of USDA FSIS personnel.  Each animal undergoes ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection by FSIS personnel to ensure that it is free of disease and wholesome.