As of March 1, American consumers now have convenient access to nutritional information about the raw meat and poultry products they most frequently purchase. Under a new U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) rule, packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry, such as hamburger or ground turkey, now feature nutrition facts panels on their labels. Additionally, 40 of the most popular whole, raw cuts of meat and poultry, such as chicken breast or steak, will also have nutritional information either on the package labels or on display to consumers at the store.
“Providing nutrition information on meat and poultry products in the store gives shoppers a clearer sense of the options available, allowing them to purchase items that are most appropriate for their families' needs,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen. “These new labels mark a significant step in the agency’s efforts to help consumers make more informed food purchase decisions.”
The new nutrition facts panels will list the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat that a product contains. For example, consumers will be able to compare the calories and fat content for ground turkey versus ground beef, or for pork chops versus chicken breasts, right in the store. Additionally, a ground or chopped product that includes on its label a lean percentage statement, such as “85% lean,” and is not considered “low in fat” also will list its fat percentage, making it easier for consumers to understand the amounts of lean and fat content in a particular product.
The Federal Register notice announcing this rule was published on Dec. 29, 2010 and can be found at federalregister.gov/a/2010-32485. To see examples of the types of labels consumers will now see, click here.