Labeling Mechanically Tenderized Beef

P. Scott Shearer, Vice President

April 20, 2012

1 Min Read
Labeling Mechanically Tenderized Beef


Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has called on USDA to label mechanically tenderized beef products to “better protect” the public from foodborne illness.  In a letter to USDA, DeLauro said consumers need to know that mechanically tenderized beef products are non-intact cuts and should be cooked similar to ground beef, including a higher cooking temperature than whole cuts of beef. 

She noted, “In order to safely prepare these products, consumers must cook them to the appropriate temperature – a temperature which they cannot determine if they are unaware that the product is not a whole, intact cut of meat.  Continued inaction only places the public health at risk. It is imperative that the agency act before another grilling season comes and goes, with tens of millions of pounds of mechanically tenderized beef products being sold to unaware consumers who unknowingly place themselves at risk.” 

A 2008 USDA study indicated that approximately 50 million pounds of mechanically tenderized beef products were sold monthly.

About the Author(s)

P. Scott Shearer

Vice President, Bockorny Group, Inc.

Scott Shearer is vice president of the Bockorny Group Inc., a leading bipartisan government affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. With more than 30 years experience in government and corporate relations in state and national arenas, he is recognized as a leader in agricultural trade issues, having served as co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority. Scott was instrumental in the passage of China Permanent Normal Trade Relations and TPA. He is past chairman of the USDA-USTR Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products and was a member of the USAID Food Security Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Bockorny Group, Scott served as director of national relations for Farmland Industries Inc., as well as USDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (1993-96), serving as liaison for the Secretary of Agriculture and the USDA to Congress.

Subscribe to Our Newsletters
National Hog Farmer is the source for hog production, management and market news

You May Also Like