The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service on Friday quietly extended the comment period for a long-delayed proposal to require labeling for certain tenderized beef products.
The move, which responds to industry requests, means that stakeholders will have 60 days longer, or until October 8, to weigh in on the proposed rule. Industry groups had asked for a 120-day extension, but the agency said it believes a 60-day extension is “sufficient.”
The rule, initially proposed on June 10, would require the term “mechanically tenderized” on the label for raw and partially cooked needle- or blade-tenderized steaks, including beef products injected with marinade or another solution, unless those products are fully cooked at an official establishment.
“FSIS is also proposing to require that the print for all words in the product name appear in the same style, color, and size and on a single-color contrasting background,” the notice states. “In addition, FSIS is proposing to require that labels of raw and partially cooked needle- or blade-tenderized beef products destined for household consumers, hotels, restaurants, or similar institutions include validated cooking instructions that inform consumers that these products need to be cooked to a specified minimum internal temperature, and whether they need to be held at that minimum temperature for a specified time before consumption, i.e., dwell time or rest time, to ensure that they are fully cooked.”
Interested parties should visit the Federal Register for information on submitting comments.