Shoppers may have already noticed changes in the meat isle at their local grocery store. Nutrition labels are now on raw meat and poultry products. under a new rule from the US Department of Agriculture.
Labeling raw meat with nutritional information first began in 1993. At that time the USDA made nutrition labeling voluntary for many types of raw meats. Under a new rule from the Agency labeling became mandatory starting last Thursday.
The new rule affects all ground meat and poultry and 40 of the most popular cuts of meat in the United States such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork chops, roasts, lamb and veal. If the nutrition facts are not on the package, as in the case of some larger cuts of meat, look for posters or signs at the meat counter for this information.
“It’s the kind of information that consumers are asking for and we just think it’s about helping people make their own best choices by having the information that they need,” says Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Undersecretary for Food Safety at the USDA.
These labels or posters include listings of total calories, calories from fat, levels of saturated fat, protein, cholesterol, sodium and iron. In addition to showing the lean content for a particular meat, such as “90% lean,” labels must now also include the fat percentage, in this example “10% fat.”
“The information can also be used to comparison shop among products. If a consumer is concerned about total calories or saturated fat, for example, they can compare and contrast products and possibly make a selection based on the nutrient content of the food,” says Registered Dietitian Heather Mangieri, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
To learn more about the new nutrition label read the USDA’s Key Information news release.
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