Where’s the beef? On many consumers’ plates, it turns out.
According to the Food Market Institute, beef remains the top-selling meat in food service, and it’s a trend that’s expected to continue in 2017. For retailers, it’s a trend that means expanding beef selections to meet consumer demand. But along with this demand comes an increasing expectation of transparency, particularly when it comes to information about beef.
And they – consumers, that is – also want variety and value, such as through customizable and interactive dishes, which gives retailers additional opportunity to provide in-store options such as meal kits. Moreover, today’s consumers have a strong focus on the dining “experience,” whether that’s through new dining experiences or foods.
Retailers, however, will continue to feel additional pressure from following meat-grinding regulations that have grown in number and become more demanding.
Regulations and Retailers
2016 was an important year for retailers and their meat-grinding operations. The USDA made it mandatory for grocers and other retail stores to maintain meat-grinding logs – although there are some exceptions. But when logs are required, they must include several types of information, including the date and time each lot of ground beef was produced and the time when grinding equipment and other food-contact services are cleaned and sanitized. Additionally, grinding logs must be kept for at least one year.
The primary purpose of the new regulations is to trace the sources of foodborne illnesses involving ground beef more effectively. While consumers continue to choose beef over other meat options, eliminating, or least decreasing, cases of foodborne illness remains a top priority.
For retailers, maintaining meat-grinding logs – particularly on paper – will become not only more time-consuming but also require revised strategies to remain compliant. Poor record-keeping makes it difficult to trace the sources of foodborne illnesses. In short, grocers and retail outlets are now held responsible for the accurate upkeep of such records.
If you’re a grocer, the question becomes how to keep up with consumer demand for quality beef while also ensuring that your record-keeping methods keep up with stricter government regulation.
The answer: Digital
The good news is that digital technology has made it easier to automate the process of grind management, as well as record-keeping. The field of meat grinding management is benefiting from a wave of cloud-based, digital technology solutions that have helped lift the burden of record-keeping within meat departments. These automated digital systems are designed to reduce the risk and error as it pertains to grind traceability management.
Partnering with a leader in cloud-based technology such as TRUNO Retail Technology Services reduces the time and uncertainty of grind management. With stricter regulations now in place, there’s no time like the present to update your store’s software.
Tackle Meat Regulations with TRUNO’s Digital Grind Log Solutions.