– Tallgrass Beef, a market leader in branded grass-fed beef production, will use DNA TraceBack® from IdentiGEN to provide a reliable and accurate traceability system so that every cut of Tallgrass beef can be traced back to the family farm where the animals were raised.

IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack, which has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s certification as a “Process Verified Program” (PVP), is a product verification system providing meat companies with a process to manage food safety and quality assurance. Tallgrass Beef packages at the retail meat case will carry IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack seal, a guarantee to consumers that each cut came from Tallgrass’ pasture-based, humane production and processing system.

Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless, winner of Bravo-TV’s Top Chef Masters, and owner and Executive Chef of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo restaurants in Chicago, is a long-time Tallgrass Beef customer. “My reputation and that of my restaurants is on the line, which is why I am thrilled that now every cut of Tallgrass beef that reaches my kitchen is traceable back to the animal of origin,” Bayless said. “Adding DNA TraceBack is the ultimate reassurance for me and my customers.”

Tallgrass Beef is available on the West Coast in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. In the east, flagship customers include Fairway Markets in New York, Sunset Foods and Fox & Obel in Chicago, as well as Sendik’s Food Markets in Milwaukee.

Kevin Kelly, meat manager at Sendik’s Markets had praise for the verification system. “From a food safety standpoint, DNA TraceBack is extremely valuable to my department,” he said. “For our customers, it provides 100 percent reassurance that this is a safe, wholesome product that is what it claims to be.”

Bill Kurtis, founder of Tallgrass Beef, commented on the additional proof of authenticity. “I started Tallgrass Beef with the idea of raising cattle the way they should be. Including DNA TraceBack is the final step in the process. It is our assurance that we stand behind every piece of meat, and every product claim we make,” Kurtis said. “Anyone can talk the talk. With DNA TraceBack, we are walking the walk.”

All Tallgrass Beef comes from cattle derived from special genetic stock, raised by producers who strictly adhere to humane practices and the highest standards of husbandry. Tallgrass beef uses ultrasound technology to safely and humanely detect the right amount of marbling and muscle to produce the most tender, best-tasting beef, and it provides complete food chain traceability through IdentiGEN’s DNA TraceBack.

The verification is welcomed by cattle ranchers as well. Allan Waddell, a rancher from Emelle, Alabama, said, “I am proud of my ranch and what I produce for Tallgrass Beef. That is why I believe DNA TraceBack is such a valuable tool. What I like about it is that it relies on the unique DNA of every animal, which is nature’s bar code.”

DNA TraceBack was developed in 1996 by a group of geneticists from Ireland’s Trinity College. The system is widely used by European retailers, including Tesco, Superquinn and Dunnes Stores, to verify product authenticity and country of origin as well as manage food safety. The company now operates its North American headquarters in Lawrence, KS.

“There is a lot of marketing noise out there. The DNA claim cuts through that noise, and provides the ultimate proof of product integrity. Kudos to Tallgrass Beef for raising the bar," said IdentiGEN’s Vice President for Sales, Tim Riemenschneider.

IdentiGEN’s DNA TraceBack system is an approved USDA Process Verified Program (PVP). PVP designation signifies that the USDA has verified the IdentiGEN system as a consistently reliable program in which meat processors, meat producers, retailers and consumers can have confidence. There are currently 36 approved USDA Process Verified Programs. Additional information can be found at http://processverified.usda.gov/.