Petition would allow transportation of hides; remove ‘inedible’ from definition

Working within the establishment, an approved process and HACCP plan were developed to remove hair, foreign material, and filth from the hides. Processing techniques derived from the client’s cultural experience have been successfully implemented, and the finished product has been marked inspected and passed. The inspection mark has catapulted the reputation and marketability of the hide product. The existence of the product filled a market in the ethnic foods category that is being met by similar, but inferior uninspected products.

Furthermore, OSU research into the current hide market has proven the hide is considered a waste. Processors do not receive monetary compensation for the hide, which amounts to 4.8 percent  of the live animal. In 2015, the AMS estimated a hide to be worth $6.96 for a typical steer. The success of this OSU petition will reduce the number of hides being sent to a landfill and give the slaughter establishment the option to reduce material lost as waste.

The OSU petition says that when the basis of the policy in 9 CFR325.19(e) was originally formed, there did not exist an edible beef hide product market in the United States. The development of this process to utilize a wasted portion of the live animal and fill a strong market demand has created the need for the policy to be amended per this petition’s request.

The definition of inedible product currently includes hides, and recent development of an edible hide product has proven the hide is edible. The current process is approved to take place in the slaughter establishment, however regulations prohibiting the transporting the inedible product for further processing prevents full utilization of the hide.

The OSU request was submitted on Nov. 12 by Andrea Graves, business planning and marketing specialist at the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center. The FSIS response was filed on Nov. 18.

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