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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

FSIS Requires Labeling of Needle Tenderized Steaks

In January 2010 I wrote, “FSIS Should Require Labeling for Tenderized Steaks.”  As Food Safety News reports today, the long-stalled new U.S. Department of Agriculture rule to require labeling mechanically-tenderized beef is back on the tracks.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published the rule with its proposed regulations on the agency’s website today and it will run soon on the Federal Register. After that, the pubic will have 60 days to comment.

“These products are different than intact products,” Rachel Edelstein, FSIS assistant administrator for policy and program development told a media conference call on the rule. A phase-in is planned with the full rule effective on Jan. 1, 2016.

FSIS will require that mechanically-tenderized beef products carry labels so customers will know there is a danger that pathogens such as E. coli could have been pushed into the meat beyond the exterior, running a risk if not adequately cooked internally. The labels proposed by FSIS would be required to display validated cooking instruction “so that consumers have the information they need to cook this product in a way that destroys illness-causing pathogens.”

I know, I could say, why the hell did it take so long, but I will simply say, “Good on ya, Mate!”