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Meat Grinder Rules/Recommendations

In Case you Missed it…USDA Webinar on Retail Grinding Log Rule Available Below

In anticipation of the upcoming October 1 enforcement date of USDA’s “Records to be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores that Grind Raw Beef Products” (FSIS) conducted a webinar for Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois retail members on August 30, 2016. They provided an in-depth review of the final rule’s requirements for covered establishments and answered various questions concerning compliance. A full copy of USDA’s presentation can be found – here. For additional questions please contact Kristin Mullins at kristin@ohiogrocers.org.


USDA to Host Webinar on Retail Grinding Log Rule – Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In anticipation of the upcoming enforcement date of USDA’s “Records to be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores that Grind Raw Beef Products” final rule, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will be conducting a webinar for retail and grocer associations on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 2:00 Eastern Time. Subject matter experts from FSIS’ Office of Policy and Program Development and FSIS’ Office of Investigation, Enforcement, and Audit, will provide an in-depth review of the final rule’s requirements for establishments to be compliant once enforcement starts October 1, 2016. The Webinar is being offered free for members of OGA, Michigan Grocers Association, and the Illinois Food Retailers Association.  All interested members are encouraged and invited to join the webinar. See the attached document for more information or below for instructions to join.

** Log-In Instructions **

The conference begins at 2:00 PM Eastern Time on August 30, 2016; you may join 10 minutes prior.

Step 1: http://ems7.intellor.com/login/706827

Step 2: Instructions for connecting to conference audio will then be presented on your computer

If you will be connecting via the AT&T Connect Participant Application, we strongly recommend you install a current version (11.5 or higher) prior to the conference. If you are unable to do so, we recommend you join the conference using the Web Participant Application.

If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0373265# or Find an Alternate Number.

If you need technical assistance, call the AT&T Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.

In order to participate in the Webinar you must RSVP to Evelyn Gomez at evelyn.gomez@fsis.usda.gov as capacity is limited.

If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Gomez at (202) 418-8903.

FSIS Publishes Final Rule on Recordkeeping for Grind Raw Beef Products

(December 17, 2015) Earlier this week, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released its Final rule on its recordkeeping regulations for establishments and retail stores that grind beef products for sale. The rule details the specific recordkeeping procedures and instructions for maintaining them. Please see the attached correspondence from FMI on more information. The Final Rule goes into effect 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Attention Stores Who Grind Raw Beef!

(July 17, 2014)  Yesterday, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published a proposed rule to modify recordkeeping regulations for all official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products.

According to the proposal, the retailer/establishment must keep records that disclose the identity and contact information of the supplier of all source materials that they use in the preparation of each lot of raw ground beef.

Specifically, FSIS is proposing to amend the Federal Meat Inspection regulations to require retail stores that grind raw beef products keep records that:

  • Fully disclose the names, points of contact, phone numbers, and establishment numbers of the establishments supplying the materials used to prepare each lot of raw ground beef;
  • 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 amount of beef component used in each lot (in pounds);
  • The date and time each lot of raw ground beef product is produced; and
  • The date and time when grinding equipment and related food contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized.

Again this is simply a proposed rule at this stage and OGA will be weighing in with our national partners (FMI and NGA) to make your voice heard. Please provide feedback to Kristin Mullins by August 1.

Grinder Logs Recommended for all Retailers

In light of the recent E.coli outbreak, we thought we would remind all our retail members of the importance of proper recordkeeping and sanitation in their meat departments. Although grinder logs are NOT REQUIRED – they are recommended. In fact, USDA and State Inspectors are required to collect ground beef samples during a retail review if they determine that said retailer does not have grinding records.

From our research, it appears that grinding logs provide a first line of defense for the retailer if they are implicated in any type of food-borne illness. This record-keeping practice can possibly lower your liability.

(Note regarding: Internal or Meat Department Trim/Thin Meats – If at all possible, these should be merchandised in ways other than ground beef. However, if you choose to grind trim into ground beef, extra care and caution needs to be used in handling; and it is recommended that these grinds be isolated at the end of the grinding sequence just prior the grinder being cleaned and sanitized. These are the most vulnerable where contamination or E. coli can become a factor.)

There is no official tracking form; so retailers are encouraged to develop their own customized log sheet that works best in their individual operations. Download the form below to get you started. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kristin Mullins in our office at kristin@ohiogrocers.org or at 614-442-5511.

Grind Log Sample

Meat Grinder Cleaning/Sanitizing Rule

We recently received the question from one of our members about how often the meat grinder needs to be cleaned and sanitized. The answer is: It depends! Of course the first rule of thumb is that each time you switch commodities, the grinder must be cleaned prior to grinding the new product.

If, however, the grinder is used solely for one product (i.e. ground beef) then the grinder must be cleaned according to the following chart based on room temperature:

Ambient Temperature     Cleaning Frequency
41 degrees or less     Every 24 hours
41-45 degrees     Every 20 hours
45-50 degrees     Every 16 hours
50-55 degrees     Every 10 hours

As documented in the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code