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In an effort to help grocers understand the ramifications of the USDA's new mandatory meat-case labeling rule, Hobart has created a white paper that explains the types and cuts of meat and poultry that are affected and what labeling actions a grocer needs to take to be compliant.
The white paper is available at http://www.hobartcorp.com/products/weigh-wrap/usda/.
The nutrition labeling rule -- Nutrition Labeling of Single-Ingredient Products and Ground or Chopped Meat and Poultry Products -- was announced by the USDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service on Dec. 29, 2010. Grocery operations must be in compliance with the new rule beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
The new rule requires nutrition information for 40 of the most popular cuts of single-ingredient raw meat and poultry products be available directly on product labels or at the point of purchase. In addition, nutrition labels will be required on all ground or chopped meat and poultry products, with or without added seasonings.
The FSIS intends to collect samples of ground product at retailers for nutrient analysis as well as to assess whether nutrition information is available for the major cuts either on package labels or at the point of purchase.
"Grocers may face challenges as they comply with the new rule," said Tim Peters, business development manager, Weigh/Wrap, Hobart Corp. "Customers look at the color and quality of meat and poultry products when making their purchase decision. Therefore, a grocer must consider how much of a package will need to be covered to communicate the new labeling requirements."