Meat & Poultry To Get Detailed Nutritional Labels Starting In 2012

In what the USDA says is an attempt to better inform the meat-buying public about the products they buy, many popular cuts of meat and poultry will be required to carry labels with detailed nutritional information.

The new regulation was announced yesterday and will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. It will cover 40 popular cuts of meat and poultry, though USDA has stated that it may amend that list in the future.

From the USDA statement:

The nutrition facts panels will include the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat a product contains. Additionally, any product that lists a lean percentage statement, such as “76% lean,” on its label also will list its fat percentage, making it easier for consumers to understand the amounts of lean protein and fat in their purchase…

Examples of the major cuts of raw, single-ingredient meat and poultry products include, but are not limited to, whole or boneless chicken breasts and other pieces, or beef whole cuts such as brisket or tenderloin steak. Examples of ground or chopped meat and poultry products include, but are not limited to, hamburger and ground turkey.

“We need to do all we can to provide nutrition labels that will help consumers make informed decisions,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services work hard to provide the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years, and now consumers will have another tool to help them follow these guidelines.”

Nutrition Facts Panels to Appear on Labels of Popular Cuts of Meat and Poultry Products [USDA]
Nutrition Labeling of Single-Ingredient Products and Ground or Chopped Meat and Poultry Products [Federal Register]