USDA targets mechanically tenderised beef
New regs for mechanically tenderised beef
The US Department of Agriculture has introduced new labelling requirements for mechanically tenderised beef in a bid to tackle foodborne illnesses that can be introduced during tenderisation.
Mechanically-tenderised beef is pierced with needles or small blades to break up the tissue. The USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service said the process can introduce pathogens from the surface of the meat to the interior of the cut. "The potential presence of pathogens in the interior of these products means they should be cooked differently than intact cuts," FSIS said.
As a result, the department is introducing new labelling requirements. Products will have to state they have been mechanically, blade or needle tenderised. The labels must also include "validated cooking instructions" so that consumers "know how to safely prepare them". The instructions will have to specify the minimum internal temperatures and any hold or "dwell" times for the products to ensure that they are fully cooked, the USDA said.
The new requirements will come into force in May next year.
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