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Following years of planning and several extensions, nutrition labels are now required on ground meat and poultry packages, and on or near major cuts sold in supermarkets, effective March 1.
“This nutrition information will confirm for consumers what the latest U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recently said, that lean meat and poultry products are an important part of a healthy balanced diet,” declared J. Patrick Boyle, president of the American Meat Institute. “This final rule has been in progress for more than a decade, and the meat and poultry industry is pleased to provide nutrient content information to consumers about our fresh products.”
Nutrition labels have been required on processed meat and poultry products for many years, and many fresh single-ingredient meat and poultry products like steak, tenderloins and ground beef also have carried labels voluntarily. “Now, this valuable information will be offered more widely and will provide a pleasant nutrition surprise to many meat and poultry consumers,” Boyle said.
Meat and poultry products, Boyle noted, are nutrient dense and rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. “Consumers should note that 29 cuts of beef, pork and lamb are considered lean. A 3-ounce serving of meat or poultry contains between 160 and 200 calories and contains all nine essential amino acids,” he said. “That is why meat is considered a ‘complete protein.’”
Boyle said recent research has shown that lean meat and poultry “provide a sense of satisfaction that help control hunger and aid in weight control. More than 40 cuts of meat and poultry qualify for the definition of lean.”
AMI has produced a video to educate retailers and consumers about lean cuts of meat and poultry.
The Washington, D.C.-based American Meat Institute is a national trade association that represents companies that process 95 percent of red meat and 70 percent of turkey in the United States and their suppliers throughout the country.