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USDA/FSIS RIN: 0583-AD46 Publication ID: Fall 2014 
Title: Records to be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores That Grind Raw Beef Products 

FSIS proposed to amend its recordkeeping regulations to specify that all official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products for sale in commerce must keep records that disclose the identity of the supplier of all source materials that they use in the preparation of each lot of raw ground product, and identify the names of those source materials.

Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 9 CFR 320   
Legal Authority: 21 USC 601 et seq   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

Under the authority of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and its implementing regulations, FSIS investigates complaints and reports of consumer foodborne illness possibly associated with FSIS-regulated meat products. Many such investigations into consumer foodborne illnesses involve those caused by the consumption of raw beef ground, by official establishments or retail stores. FSIS investigators and public health officials frequently use records kept by all levels of the food distribution chain, including the retail level, to identify and traceback product that is the source of the illness to the suppliers that produced the source material for the product. The Agency, however, has often been thwarted in its effort to traceback ground beef products, some associated with consumer illness, to the suppliers that provided source materials for the products. In some situations, official establishments and retail stores have not kept records necessary to allow traceback and traceforward activities to occur. Without such necessary records, FSIS's ability to conduct timely and effective consumer foodborne illness investigations and other public health activities throughout the stream of commerce is also affected, thereby placing the consuming public at risk. Therefore, for FSIS to be able to conduct traceback and traceforward investigations, foodborne illnesses investigations, or to monitor product recalls, the records kept by official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products must disclose the identity of the supplier and the names of the sources of all materials that they use in the preparation of each lot of raw ground beef product.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Under 21 U.S.C. 642, official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products for sale in commerce are persons, firms, or corporations that must keep such records and correctly disclose all transactions involved in their businesses subject to the Act. This is because they engage in the business of preparing products of an amenable species for use as human food, and they engage in the business of buying or selling (as meat brokers, wholesalers or otherwise) in commerce products of carcasses of an amenable species. These businesses must also provide access to, and inspection of, these records by FSIS personnel. Further, under 9 CFR 320.1(a), every person, firm, or corporation required by section 642 of the FMIA to keep records must keep those records that will fully and correctly disclose all transactions involved in his or its business subject to the Act. Records specifically required to be kept under section 320.1(b) include, but are not limited to, bills of sale; invoices; bills of lading; and receiving and shipping papers. With respect to each transaction, the records must provide the name or description of the livestock or article; the net weight of the livestock or article; the number of outside containers; the name and address of the buyer or seller of the livestock or animal; and the date and method of shipment.


FSIS considered two alternatives to the proposed requirements: the status quo and a voluntary recordkeeping program.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

Costs occur because about 76,093 retail stores and official establishments will need to develop and maintain records, and make those records available for the Agency's review. Using the best available data, FSIS believes that industry recordkeeping costs would be approximately $1.46 million. Agency costs of approximately $0.01 million would result from record reviews at official establishments and retail stores, as well as travel time to and from retail stores. Annual benefits from this rule come from estimated averted Shiga toxin-producing E.coli illnesses and averted cases of Salmonellosis. Non-monetized benefits will accrue to industry due to an expected smaller volume of recalls, given everything else being equal, and due to the reduced industry vulnerability to reputation-damaging food safety events. Avoiding loss of business reputation is an indirect benefit. The Government will benefit in that the rule will enable it to operate in a more efficient manner in identifying and tracking recalls of adulterated raw ground beef products. Consumers will benefit from a reduction in foodborne illnesses due to quicker recalls, correction of process failures at establishments producing ground beef, and improved guidance and industry practices.



Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  07/22/2014  79 FR 42464   
NPRM Comment Period End  10/22/2014 
Final Action  07/00/2015 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Matthew Michael
Director, Regulations Development Staff
Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Office of Policy and Program Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20250-3700
Phone:202 720-0345
Fax:202 690-0486