ground beefThe U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing to require all makers of raw ground beef products to keep records of the meat’s sources. Retail outlets regularly make ground beef by mixing cuts of beef from various sources. This proposal, if finalized, will require them to keep clear records identifying the source, supplier, and names of all materials used in the preparation of raw ground beef products. This would help USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) when tracing the producer of ground meat linked to a foodborne illness outbreak. “The improved traceback capabilities that would result from this proposal will prevent foodborne illness by allowing FSIS to conduct recalls of potentially contaminated raw ground products in a timelier manner,” said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm. “By requiring retail outlets to maintain improved records on sources for ground products, the proposal will enable FSIS to quickly identify likely sources of contaminated product linked to an outbreak.” “FSIS has concluded that record-keeping by retail facilities that grind raw beef to date has not been sufficiently effective,” reads the agency’s statement. “This proposal is in keeping with the agency’s latest efforts to target its food safety prevention tools at areas that will have the most significant public health impact.” FSIS has opened a public comment period on the proposed rule that will end 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.