US raw meat and poultry will require clearer labelling from the beginning of 2016, according to new rules announced by the USDA.
Product labels for raw meat and poultry will have to more clearly include information on added solutions such as saltwater. To increase consumer awareness of the added solution and the amount of the added solution in raw meat and poultry products, FSIS proposed that the common or usual name of the product include the percentage and the ingredients of the added solution. In addition, the Agency proposed that the print for all of the words in the name, including the percentage and ingredients in the solution, appear in a single font
size, color, and style of print and appear on a single-color contrasting background.
“Under current regulations, some product labels are misleading because they do not clearly and conspicuously identify to consumers that the raw meat or 11 poultry products contain added solution,” USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service wrote in a document on the federal register.
USDA said the label changes will expand consumers’ knowledge of the products they purchase and help those with special dietary needs monitor their intake of ingredients such as salt.
Tom Super, a spokesman with the National Chicken Council, downplayed the impact of the new rule. “Consumers who want to know the individual ingredients in a marinade or solution added to raw poultry have had access to this information for years on product labels, and will continue to have it available with this new rule,” he said.
A 2012 survey by the USDA estimated that approximately 60% of all raw meat and poultry products sold contain added solutions.