Kroger tells suppliers to immediately adopt new USDA beef regulations

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CINCINNATI – The Kroger Co. called on its beef suppliers Jan. 12 to immediately implement USDA’s new regulations to protect against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

“We expect all Kroger suppliers to immediately implement the USDA guidelines and not wait for the regulatory process to take effect,” said Don McGeorge, Kroger president, in a letter to the company’s beef suppliers.

Wanted in writing. Specifically, all beef suppliers must be able to certify to Kroger the following:

* No “downer” animals (or those exhibiting BSE-like symptoms) were processed for food for human consumption.

* All cattle tested for BSE are held until test results are received. Such notification should be in writing and should clearly identify the specific carcass.

* Spinal cords, brains and other materials that are known as “specified risk material” are not to be used for human food.

* Slaughtering processes must ensure that portions of the animal’s brain are not dislocated into the tissues of the carcass.

* Mechanically separated meat is not used for human food.

As stated previously, Kroger does not allow any Advanced Meat Recovery (AMR) systems products in its ground beef.

Kroger said it will “not be able to do business with suppliers that are unable or unwilling to comply with these requirements.”

Let’s see some ID. Kroger is urging the USDA to create a mandatory animal identification system that tracks all cattle from birth to slaughter, and develop more effective testing techniques and technology to detect BSE.

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