When beef is processed, there are several safety interventions that are used from exposure to antibacterial agents to freezing to what safety experts call 'test-and-hold' procedures, which is when a sample of the final product is tested and the lot is only released after test results come back negative. The same is true for lean finely textured beef produced by BPI and others.
"We're working with a raw product. Any time you do that – whether it's lettuce, spices, chicken, beef or any other fresh food – the food passes several safety interventions to make sure it is as safe as it possibly can be when it arrives at our homes," said Acuff. "Much attention has been given to BPI's process of exposing the meat briefly to an ammonia gas, which has been FDA-approved for use in food safety systems since 1974. As someone who directs a leading food safety center, I can tell you ammonia is used in many food systems. And that makes good sense. Ammonia is naturally found in many foods, including beef, chocolate, cheese and baked goods, and it very effective in ensuring safety," said Acuff.
Craig Letch, director of food safety and quality assurance for BPI, led the visitors on the tour. Before going into the plant, he described the computerized control systems that monitor each piece of equipment in the facility and he showed the delegation the fresh beef trim that is used to make lean beef trim as well as the 94 to 97 percent fresh ground beef product the plant makes before it is frozen and shipped. They then went into the plant and saw the product being made.
People who wish to learn more can visit beefisbeef.comSOURCE Beef Products, Inc.