WASHINGTON — Today, the first day of National Nutrition Month, is also the first day that chopped or ground meat and poultry products are officially required to have on-pack nutrition labeling, based on a ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service division. In line with a 1993 USDA decision, nutrition labeling of various raw meat products had been voluntary until now.
"The Food Safety and Inspection Service is improving the way consumers receive nutritional information about the meat and poultry products they most frequently purchase," Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, FSIS under secretary for food safety, wrote today on USDA’s official blog.
The packages must carry the Nutrition Facts panel that is seen on most other products on grocery shelves. For forty other popular cuts of meat, nutrition facts need not be on the package itself but must be made easily available at point of sale via signs or posters, for example.
"For other popular cuts of raw meat and poultry, including chicken wings and pork tenderloin, that same nutrition information may appear on package labels or on easily accessible materials near the meat counter," Hagen explains in her blog post. "Providing the nutritional content of pork chops, chicken breasts, ground turkey, and ground beef right in the store will allow consumers to compare products and make more informed decisions on what is most appropriate for their families' needs."