Chopped and ground meat and poultry products now bear the same on-package nutrition labels consumers commonly see on most other packaged foods.
Nutrition labeling on food was first made mandatory in 1993, but until March 1, the only meats that had to contain such labeling were processed meat products like bacon and sausage. The notifications had been voluntary on other meat products.
Other popular cuts of meat, like chicken wings and pork tenderloin, do not have to feature their nutritional content directly on the package—but that information must be easily accessible near the meat counter.
The labels must include total calories, calories from fat, saturated fat, protein, cholesterol, sodium, and iron. If the label lists the percentage of lean meat, it must also list the percentage of fat.
“The Food Safety and Inspection Service is improving the way consumers receive nutritional information about the meat and poultry products they most frequently purchase,” Elisabeth Hagen, MD, FSIS under secretary for food safety, wrote on the USDA’s official blog. “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.”
Fish and seafood are not included in the rule, because their labeling is governed by the FDA.