Effective from 21 August 2014, Canada requires all mechanically tenderized beef to be clearly labeled as “mechanically tenderized” and include instructions for safe cooking. (1)
This requirement applies to all industry sectors selling uncooked mechanically tenderized beef including retailers, meat processors and importers. Federally registered facilities have been labeling mechanically tenderized beef products with these requirements since July 2013.
The purpose of this labeling requirement is to reduce the cases of foodborne illnesses from E. coli O157 associated with these products. The new labels will advise the consumers to cook mechanically tenderized beef to a minimum internal temperature of 63°C (145°F).
For steaks an additional cooking instruction of “turn steak over at least twice during cooking” will be required to be displayed on the principal display panel in Canadian English and French. The words “mechanically tenderized” in Canadian English and French are to be part of the name of the product or prominently displayed on the principal display panel. The cooking instructions “cook to a minimum internal temperature of 63°C (145°F)” will need to be on the principal display panel in Canadian English and French.