The USDA's Microbiological and Residue Computer Information System contains sample identification information and results for analyses submitted by inspection personnel to laboratories. These samples consist of meat, poultry, and egg products; and they are analyzed to ensure that they are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled. The samples are tested because they bear or contain residues of drugs, pesticides, other chemicals, or microbiological pathogens.
Test results are used to alert agency personnel and the industry of contaminations and threats to consumer health and the need for protective actions such as product recalls. The system is also used for risk assessment and decision support purposes, improving early detection of problem products, enabling active food safety surveillance, and evaluating potential threats to the food supply.