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    Heart-check Marks the Spot

    Valentine's Day may have passed, but in the food industry the heart icon isn't going away anytime soon. Many consumers look for it on packaging to be assured that what they're eating is good for their tickers.

    Valentine's Day may have passed, but in the food industry the heart icon isn't going away anytime soon. Many consumers look for it on packaging to be assured that what they're eating is good for their tickers.

    That's why the latest surge of certifications is a welcome addition to the meat industry. Thanks in part to a partnership with the Beef Checkoff Program, the American Heart Association has listed three beef cuts as part of its Food Certification Program: Boneless Top Sirloin Petite Roast (select grade), Top Sirloin Filet (select grade), and Top Sirloin Kabob (select grade). These cuts meet the American Heart Association's criteria for extra lean and now are certified to display the heart-check mark.

    The news will surely warm retailers' hearts, as they can display the heart-check mark on fresh case beef packages, and also take advantage of significant discounts to participate in the AHA’s heart-check mark program, with certain fees waived courtesy of the Beef Checkoff’s Trade Association Certification program. This is indeed good news for retailers, as many of the food industry's top brands have certified products. The mark has been shown to influence sales by as much as 5 percent.

    In other health-related labeling news, Perdue's fresh, all natural chicken products now carry the USDA Process Verified Seal, making it the first poultry company to receive this seal of verification for its practices. The seal assures consumers that the chickens have been raised without cages and/or were fed an all-vegetarian diet.

    Perdue hopes that the new seal helps address consumer uncertainty about label claims -- and that’s a goal everyone in the industry can put their hearts into.
     

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