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Labeling Requirements for Mechanically Tenderized Beef Products Take Effect- Verification to Follow

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)

The new labeling requirements for raw and partially cooked beef products that have been mechanically tenderized took effect May 17, 2016. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), in May 2015, issued a final rule amending the federal meat inspection regulations to require the use of the descriptive designation "mechanically tenderized," "blade tenderized,'' or ''needle tenderized'' on the labels of raw and partially cooked needle- or blade-tenderized beef products. The labels must also include validated cooking instructions that specify the method of cooking, minimum internal temperatures, any hold or "dwell" times and that a thermometer was used for the products to ensure that they are fully cooked.

FSIS, on May 12, issued Notice 29-16 , instructing inspection program personnel regarding procedures to verify that establishments meet the new labeling requirements. Products not subject to enforcement of the final rule include all raw corned beef products and raw mechanically tenderized products that are less than 1/8" thick, such as beef bacon and carne asada.

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