Thursday, July 17, 2014

USDA Proposal for Increased Record Keeping Requirements for Grinding of Raw Meat

 USDA is proposing a rule that will require official establishments and retail stores to keep records on the meat they grind.
"Official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products for sale in commerce must keep records that will fully and correctly disclose all transactions involved in their businesses subject to the Act (see 21 U.S.C. 642). This is because they engage in the business of preparing products of an amenable species for use as human food, and they engage in the business of buying or selling (as meat brokers, wholesalers or otherwise) in commerce products of carcasses of an amenable species. These businesses must also provide access to, and permit inspection of, these records by FSIS personnel."
The goal is to improve traceability in a product that can come from many sources.  Traceback has been an issue when there are outbreaks of E. coli STEC associated with ground meat.

Another Step Forward in Food Safety – What You Need to Know About Grinding Logs
Posted by Marie Bucko, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Public Affairs Specialist, on July 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM -

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing a requirement for official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products to keep detailed and in-depth log record systems.

The proposed grinding log rule is now available for public review at

What are the benefits?

Consumers will benefit from the rule in several ways. The most important among them is an improved ability to trace ground beef products back to the originating plant should an outbreak occur. Additionally, consumers will benefit from reduced incidences of E. coli and Salmonella illnesses because of greater efficiency in identifying and removing raw ground beef products from commerce that are potentially contaminated with those pathogens.

Traceback investigations can be hampered when retail outlets produce ground beef by mixing product from various sources, but fail to keep clear records as to what those sources are. Having better information on the sources of product would improve the chances that investigators will be able to determine which supplier produced the product that is responsible for the illnesses.

Keeping complete records for all beef grinding activity will enable FSIS and associated businesses to act more efficiently and in a timely manner, safeguarding public health.

Implementation of the rule would make available vital information should a public health concern arise from a ground beef product, including:
the names and establishment numbers of sites supplying the materials used to prepare each lot of raw ground beef product;
all supplier lot numbers and production dates;
the amount of the beef component used in each lot (in pounds);
the date and time each lot of raw ground beef product is produced; and
the date and time when grinding equipment and related food-contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized.

FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this proposed rule by going to

- See more at:

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