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Issue Number: Council I 016


Addition to Duties: Person in Charge Section 2-103.11 of FDA Food Code

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

The FDA Food Code recognizes that consumers are at risk of foodborne illness from undercooked or improperly cooked meat items, particularly ground beef. Some food establishments-retailers as well as restaurants-may grind intact beef to produce ground beef "in house". While this practice is lawful, it may present an increased risk of foodborne illness to consumers, because intact beef may not be subject to the same rigorous pathogen control as ground beef.

Public Health Significance

Grinding intact beef "in house" may spread pathogenic contamination from the exterior of an intact product throughout the resulting ground beef, or, may serve as a source of cross-contamination of grinding equipment. Further, consumers may mistakenly believe that ground beef produced "in house" in this way is fresher or safer, and thus may order such products undercooked (i.e., rare or medium rare), which is insufficient to kill pathogens.

It is thus imperative that those employees tasked with handling and grinding such meats (and those employees responsible for cleaning the grinding equipment, if different) are specially trained about the importance of rigorous cleaning for the prevention of foodborne illness, the logistics of cleaning, and the maintenance of appropriate records to assist in an outbreak investigation resulting from in house ground products.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a letter be sent to FDA requesting the addition of the underlined language to Section 2-103.11 of the FDA Food Code, Duties: Person in Charge:

2-103.11 Person in Charge.

(L) EMPLOYEES are properly trained in FOOD safety as it relates to their assigned duties; with enhanced training for those employees who may be responsible for production and handling of "in house" ground beef, such as the grinding of MEAT, PRIMAL CUTS and WHOLE MUSCLE, INTACT BEEF; and

Submitter Information

Name Sarah Klein
Organization Center for Science in the Public Interest
Address 1220 L St NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone 2027778339
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