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Retailers Must Keep Records if Grinding Beef

February 9, 2016

Beginning June 20, 2016, all retail stores and official establishments that grind raw beef for sale must maintain records. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, published a final rule in the Federal Register detailing this requirement. The goal of the new rule is to improve response time and identify the source of a foodborne illness outbreak involving ground beef.

The record keeping is required for all ground beef, including ground beef from trim and any raw beef that is ground at a customer’s individual request. For businesses that have more than one location, the revised rule indicates for records to be maintained at the individual establishment where the beef is ground and should not be moved to company headquarters. Records need to be kept for one year after the initial grinding.

The required records need to include the date and time of grinding; manufacturer name of source material used for product produced; supplier lot numbers, product code, and/or pack date of source material used; establishment number(s) of establishment providing source material; and date and time grinder and related food contact surfaces were last cleaned and sanitized. A “lot” of ground beef is described as ground beef made from the same source materials documented from the time that the equipment was last cleaned to the next time the equipment is cleaned.

Michigan State University Extension recommends thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing grinders and all food contact surfaces between lots, including between lots on the same production day. This reduces the risk exposure for an establishment. It is also important to conduct and document regular training and re-training for employees on proper cleaning and sanitation of grinders and food contact surfaces along with training how to properly record the required information.

Source: Jeannine Schweihofer, Michigan State University Extension