FSIS Releases Final Rule on Records to be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores that Grind Raw Beef Products
Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released a Final Rule amending its recordkeeping regulations to require that all official 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; and
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. Records must be maintained at the place where such business is conducted. However, if business is conducted in multiple locations, records may be kept at a headquarters’ office. Effective Date: The Final Rule goes into effect 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Background FMI has been working with FSIS since 2009, when the agency provided guidance to the retail industry stating that retail stores should keep appropriate records to aid in investigations involving FSIS-regulated products associated with foodborne illnesses and other food safety incidents. Following FSIS’ guidance, a Proposed Rule was published on July 22, 2014. FMI submitted extensive comments on the Proposed Rule and hosted two store tours with officials from FSIS and the Office of Management and Budget. During these meetings, FMI explained the economic impact of USDA’s meat grinding requirements on the supermarket industry and stressed the need for a simplified recordkeeping process, such as FMI’s Best Practices Guide and Sample Record developed by FMI’s members and food safety team. FMI also urged FSIS to consider the significant economic impact of the Proposed Rule, including the time required to comply with the recordkeeping requirements.
What’s Changed? In response to FMI comments and stakeholder input, FSIS is not adopting two requirements in the Proposed Rule. First, establishments and retail stores will not have to maintain records concerning the weight of each source component. Second, FSIS is not requiring that establishments maintain records of the names, points of contact, and phone numbers of each official establishment. FSIS also shortened the recordkeeping retention time from three years to one year after the date of the recorded grinding activity.
While FSIS provides flexibility for the recordkeeping requirements, the following sample grinding log was included in the Final Rule .FMI will continue to provide additional resources, including a sample recordkeeping form based on the requirements in the Final Rule.
For more information please contact Stephanie Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-0614 or Hilary Thesmar at email@example.com or (202) 220-0658.
Disclaimer: This guidance is provided by the Food Marketing Institute as a service to its members and does not constitute legal advice. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case and laws and regulations are frequently changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.