The National Grocers Association (NGA), along with the American Meat Institute and the North American Meat Association, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requesting for an extension of the comment period on the Food Safety and Inspection Service's (FSIS) recently proposed rule requiring retail supermarkets to keep detailed records on meat-grinding activities. NGA's President and CEO, Peter Larkin, released the following statement:
"This proposed rule has the potential to significantly impact America's independent supermarket operators; many of whom pride themselves on providing their customers with top-quality meat markets. NGA member stores commonly employ knowledgeable butchers who cut and grind ground beef fresh in-store multiple times a day, often upon a customer request. These departments help differentiate independent grocers from their chain competitors. It is important for NGA to have a sufficient amount of time to appropriately gather input and data from our membership so that we are able to convey to USDA the impact this proposed rule would have on our members' store operations. NGA embraces a robust commitment of advancing policies that ensure the safety and soundness of the food supply, and we strongly believe that an extension of the comment period will result in a better informed rulemaking."