SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – Federally registered plants in Canada that produce mechanically tenderized beef will be required to label those products as tenderized and provide cooking instructions. The requirement is part of a larger federal initiative called Safe Food for Canadian Action Plan.

Health Canada also plans to propose broader mandatory labels to identify mechanically tenderized beef at retail outlets such as supermarkets. A voluntary labeling practice was established in 2012.

"Canada has a world-class food safety system and our government is committed to taking real steps to make it even stronger," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This Action Plan is one of the steps our Government is taking to ensure that our system continues to provide safe food for Canadian families today and in the future."

Over the next two years, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will work with consumer groups and industry to implement the Safe Food for Canadians Act passed in November 2012. CFIA will begin by strengthening its beef safety rules and already has implemented requirements — such as the mechanically tenderized beef label — to improve control ofE. coliin federally registered plants.

Additionally, the CFIA will review food regulations in Canada that will need to be revised in order to bring the Safe Food for Canadians Act into force. The government expects the review will take two years to complete. Consumer groups and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to engage in the review process at an upcoming food safety regulatory forum planned for June.