WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced its intentions to change methods for testing domestic beef manufacturing trimmings and bench trim for Escherichia coli and Salmonella.

Instead of using the N60 excision sampling method, FSIS will move to a non-destructive surface sampling method that uses a cloth manual sampling device, beginning Feb. 1, 2023.

FSIS found that cloth sampling is as effective as the N60 excision method, and in addition, it is faster and safer for testers to use. The cloth sampling method does not require hooks or knives to collect samples.

FSIS added that the new method will not destroy the product and will reduce food waste.

The agency is accepting comments up until Jan. 23, 2023.