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New Rule on Raw Beef Grinding for Retail Stores

In June 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service finalized a new rule, Records To Be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores That Grind Raw Beef Products. Enforcement begins in October 2016. This document outlines key provisions of the rule.

Download Steritech Public Health Information Brief Beef Grinding Rule 2016


A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) rule, Records To Be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores That Grind Raw Beef Products, was finalized in June 2016 and will be enforced beginning in October 2016.

The goal of this new rule is to make tracing beef back to the source more effective, improve traceability, and reduce the incidence of foodborne illnesses. Also, this record-keeping is proposed to reduce the response time of the FSIS or health departments when investigating foodborne illness linked to consumer consumption of raw ground beef purchased at retail stores. It will also accelerate routine sampling for E. coli O157:H7 and the determination of what product lots must be recalled.

Did You Know?
While some retail grocers voluntarily maintain grinder logs, surveys found that only 12% of independent retail stores have grinder logs. Of those, EXPERTS ESTIMATE THAT 78% OF THE LOGS ARE INCOMPLETE, making the voluntary record-keeping ineffective.

When do the new rules go into effect?

The new record-keeping rule will go into effect October 1, 2016.

Who is affected by the new rule?

This rule requires the following establishments to comply with this rule IF they grind beef:

  • Federally inspected, official establishments that grind raw beef
  • Retail grocery stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Meat markets
  • Wholesalers
  • Warehouse clubs and supercenters

At the current time, the only meat required to be documented in a grinder log is beef. No requirement for pork, lamb or other species is included.

Who is not required to comply?

There are other businesses that the FSIS does not require to be in compliance with the rule if they grind beef at their location: • Full-service restaurants and limited-service food establishments (quick service, delis, pizza shops, carryout restaurants, etc.)

What is required in the grinder log?

The new rule requires that the following information be documented in grinder logs:

  • Supplier name of source materials used, including beef components, such as trim, and any product carried over from one production lot to another;
  • Supplier information (names, and establishment numbers);
  • Supplier lot numbers and product dates; • Date and time each lot of raw ground beef product is produced;
  • Date and time grinding equipment and related food contact surfaces (FCSs) are sanitized;
  • Retailers that use beef trim when grinding (combined with chub grind or alone) must also list the tracking information for the muscle cuts from which the trim originated; if a customer requests special grinds, this information also must be documented.

FSIS example of a grinder log

The FSIS has provided an example grinder log and the information required. The chart on the next page shows what is to be included in a log. A store may design its own form, provided it includes the required information. Also, there are electronic grinder log applications available from various manufacturers that may permit information to be collected and documented electronically and shared with a corporate office. Documentation must be retained at the location for one year.

Image of example log/tracking list

meat grinding log

Other Resources

To support retailers, FSIS is currently developing compliance guides and answers to frequently asked questions.
Webinars and in-person presentations will be held in summer and fall 2016 by FSIS. Check the FSIS website for more information.
The entire rule may be viewed at the following link: 0011F.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
A source for an automated grinder log system is below:

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