Beef Safety

The Beef Safety Research program includes the study of cattle-borne pathogens with the potential for causing human illness and beef production practices that may indirectly affect human health.  Historically, this Beef Checkoff Program has focused research on every step in the production chain, evaluating potential safety-enhancing interventions. In recent years, this checkoff safety program has concentrated on discovering opportunities for reducing safety threats at pre-harvest.


  • Maintain consumer confidence in beef as a safe and wholesome food
  • Identify strategies and technology to continuously improve the safety of beef and beef products from farm to table
  • Serve as industry resource for current, science-based beef safety information 

2017 Beef Industry Safety Summit Reference Materials

The 15th Anniversary of the Beef Industry Safety Summit took place on February 28 – March 2, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Sessions focused on topics like non-intact beef production, antimicrobial resistance, the National Beef Quality Audit, microbiological testing and product sampling techniques that allowed for interaction with researchers and topic experts. The Meeting Summary, traditionally produced after the meeting each year, is evolving to an online resource page which we hope will provide attendees, as well as other interested industry participants, with an opportunity to take a deeper dive into the cutting-edge topics discussed at this year’s Summit.

Beef Safety Related Links


Browse the Beef Safety Research Library

Use the filter tool to find a variety of checkoff-funded resources related to beef safety, including executive summaries, fact sheets and white papers.

Featured Resources

Whole Genome Sequencing Resources

Using WGS to Protect Public Health and Enhance Food Safety

This summary provides an overview of a meeting in April 2016 of several meat and poultry groups with regulators and researchers to better understand the status of whole genome sequencing as it pertains to foodborne disease and to begin discussions on data gaps and future research priorities.


Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) 101

Whole genome sequencing analysis is a technology used to identify genomic differences between bacterial strains and should allow for significant improvement in foodborne disease outbreak detection and source traceback. Though an improved method compared to PFGE, epidemiological data remain necessary in outbreak investigations to conclusively identify the source of the disease outbreak. This fact sheet provides and overview of the WGS technology.


Introduction to the Interpretation of Whole Genome Sequence Data in Food Safety

The use of whole genome sequencing to characterize bacterial foodborne pathogens is the latest technology that can be used to detect foodborne disease outbreaks and trace back to the outbreak source. The evolution of WGS has brought improvements in disease detection have been achieved, though challenges remain in the interpretation of data.