Nutrition labels on meat packages

March 1, 2012 2:38:19 PM PST
The next time you shop for meat at the grocery store, you can expect to see something new, nutrition labels. The same types of labels you already see on other foods you buy.

Important things like calories, protein, fat content, saturated fat, sodium, all those key pieces of information that people look at when they're making choices about nutrition and meal planning.

Since 1993, nutrition labels have been voluntary for most meat products.

Now the USDA is making them mandatory.

All ground meat and poultry and about 40 of the most popular cuts that people buy in the U.S. such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork chops and roasts will now either carry nutrition labels on the packaging, or have it readily available at the meat counter.

If you don't see the information on the front of the package, turn it over to look on the back. Some of the bigger cuts of meat will only have the information listed on signs or posters near or above the meat counter.

The requirement is that it be accessible, that it be visible and that it be accurate for the consumer.

Meat products that have additional seasonings, flavorings or marinades already come with nutritional information, and now, meats without added ingredients will as well.

And if you're looking for lean meat, the new rules require that the label says the percentage of lean meat and also the percentage of fat. So for example, if the ground beef label says it's 90% lean, it has to also say it's 10% fat.