New meat labeling rules go into effect today


POSTED: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 1:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 1:04pm

The Department of Agriculture now requires nutrition facts labels on 40 of the most popular cuts of beef and poultry.

Those labels will list calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, vitamins and total carbs, information the USDA says consumers need and want.

"They want to be able to make well informed choices and they want to be able to do that with information that's quick and easy to understand," says Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety.

Now shoppers can do side by side calorie comparisons of things like chicken breasts and pork tenderloin before taking it home to their families for dinner.

We tend to plan our meals around a protein and for many of us, that begins right here at the meat counter.

That's why the USDA decided it's important for us to have more information about what that meat contains, including fat and added salt.

You may not see a label on every single package.

Grocery stores are allowed to list the information on a wall near the meat counter.

Cuts of meat that list the percentage of lean protein will also list its fat content, like "85 percent lean, 15 percent fat".

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