WASHINGTON, DC — May 1, 2003 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) released today a retail-specific guide for ground beef, using a total management approach to incorporate food safety best practices into daily store operations.

The Total Food Safety Management Guide: A Model Program for Raw, Sold Ready to Cook Ground Beef is “based both on science and on practical, real-world conditions that must be taken into account for any program of this kind to work,” said FMI Vice President of Food Safety Programs Jill Hollingsworth, DVM.

This publication is the first in a series of six Total Food Safety Management Guides. In the coming months, FMI will publish food safety models for cut produce, deli salads, deli meats and two for cooked poultry, one on hot holding such as rotisserie chicken and the other on cold holding such as chicken salad. “These foods were selected,” said Hollingsworth, “because they are among the most widely consumed and the most challenging for food safety management.”

“It’s not enough to create a food safety model in a laboratory or on paper,” she said. “The most important test is to ensure that it works in the store. That’s why we field-tested this model to ensure it really can make a difference at retail.”

The guide is based on the principles of the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system, an internationally recognized, science-based approach to food safety controls. The guide was designed by a diverse team that included microbiologists and experts in meat science, along with industry food safety professionals and retail meat department managers. It was further assessed by third-party auditors and pilot tested in retail food stores.

The third-party assessments, conducted by internationally recognized Silliker Laboratories, validated the models by, among other measures, visiting 29 retail stores before, during and after the six-week pilot test period. In doing so, they helped ensure that the models worked in stores of different sizes and types and run by independent operators as well as chains.

All of the guides include a risk assessment, the identification of control points, good retail practices and examples of standard operating procedures.

Within the ground beef model is information retailers can share with their customers, including facts about the nutritional value of beef and veal, and information about food quality and safe handling of ground meat. Also provided is a sample of a ground beef label to remind consumers to cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160oF. The appendices include a consumer guide that retailers can use to create brochures for their customers based on the award-winning Fight BAC!TM public food safety education campaign.

The ground beef guide provides other food safety management tools, such as sample logs for recording storage and display temperatures, tracking daily grinding activities, and reporting ground beef samples collected for microbiological testing.

To purchase the Total Food Safety Management Guide: A Model Program for Raw, Sold Ready to Cook Ground Beef ($50 for FMI members, $85 for associate members and $100 for nonmembers) or to obtain more information, please contact FMI Publications and Video Sales (202-220-0723) or visit the FMI Web site (http://www.fmi.org/pub/).