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USDA rule would require strict records for ground beef

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has proposed a rule that would improve the traceability of ground beef by requiring all producers of such products to keep extensive records.

Under the proposal retailers would have to record the source, supplier and names of all materials used when making ground beef. FSIS said ground beef sold at retail is often produced by combining cuts from multiple sources, which can be problematic when the agency works to identify the source of a foodborne illness outbreak.

“The improved traceback capabilities that would result from this proposal will prevent foodborne illness by allowing FSIS to conduct recalls of potentially contaminated raw ground products in a timelier manner,” USDA deputy under secretary for food safety Brian Ronholm said in a press release. “By requiring retail outlets to maintain improved records on sources for ground products, the proposal will enable FSIS to quickly identify likely sources of contaminated product linked to an outbreak.”

Full details of the proposed rule can be found on the FSIS website. Interested parties will have 60 days to comment on the proposal once it has been published in the Federal Register.

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