The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has amended its recordkeeping regulations to require that all establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products for sale in commerce maintain the following records:
- The establishment numbers of establishments supplying material used to prepare each lot of raw ground beef product;
- All supplier lot numbers and production dates;
- The names of the supplied materials, including beef components and any materials carried over from one production lot to the next;
- The date and time each lot of raw ground beef product is produced;
- The date and time when grinding equipment and other related food-contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized.
These requirements also apply to raw beef products that are ground at an individual customer's request when new source materials are used.
This rule requires official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef for sale in commerce to maintain specific information about their grinding activities. The FSIS notes the rule is necessary to improve its ability to accurately trace the source of foodborne illness outbreaks involving ground beef and to identify the source materials that need to be recalled. The recordkeeping requirements in this final rule will greatly assist FSIS in doing so. FSIS has often been impeded in its efforts to trace ground beef products back to a supplier because of the lack of documentation identifying all source materials used in their preparation. On July 22, 2014, FSIS published a proposed rule (79 FR 42464) to require official establishments and retail stores to maintain records concerning their suppliers and source materials received. Having reviewed and considered all comments received in response to the proposed rule, FSIS is finalizing the rule and making several changes in response to comments. Most of the proposed requirements are retained in this final rule.
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