VOLUME 11 ISSUE 3
JANUARY 17, 2011
FDA’S EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBER CHANGED
As of December 1, 2010, the new number for the FDA Office of Emergency Operations will be 1 (866) 300-4374 or (301) 796-8240. These numbers can be used to report problems to FDA.
Nutrition panels required on fresh meats
On December 29, 2010 the United States Department of Agriculture issued a final regulation that requires mandatory nutritional labeling on individual packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry products, effective beginning January 1, 2012. The regulations also require mandatory nutritional labeling of major cuts of single-ingredient, raw meat and poultry products by posting a sign or poster at Point of Purchase (POP) or on the package. N.G.A. sent out a Regulatory Alert to the membership on December 30, 2010, which can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.
Effective Jan. 1, 2012, nutrition panels will be required on packages of fresh meat and poultry, according to the Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS). The panels will be required on packages of chopped or ground meat and poultry such as ground beef or turkey and either on packages of raw muscle cuts of meat and poultry such as chicken breasts and steaks or as point-of-purchase information, FSIS said.
The panels will include information on calories and fat and will provide consumers with another tool to help them follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
There is no opposition to the rule in the meat and poultry sectors. Trade associations said the panels will be important for educating consumers about all of the significant nutrients found in meat and poultry, although some groups said they would have liked a longer phase-in period to work out additional costs that will need to be absorbed.
USDA requires nutrition labels for 40 cuts of meat
The rule will apply to raw and single-ingredient major cuts of meat and poultry, including boneless chicken breast, tenderloin steak and ground meat such as hamburger or turkey. It will go into effect in 2012.
Coming soon to a grocery store near you: nutrition labels, like the ones seen on soda pop and potato chips, slapped on packages of raw ground meat and chicken breasts.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that a new federal rule will require 40 of the most commonly purchased cuts of poultry, pork, beef and lamb to carry labels that disclose a variety of information to consumers.
Slated to go into effect Jan. 1, 2012, the rule will require meat producers to disclose the total number of calories, the number of calories that come from fat, and the total grams of fat and saturated fat. The labels also must include details about protein, cholesterol, sodium and vitamins in the product, according to federal officials.
The rule will apply to raw and single-ingredient major cuts of meat and poultry, including boneless chicken breast, tenderloin steak and ground meat such as hamburger or turkey, officials for USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said. The new nutrition labels must be attached to the package itself or be available to shoppers at retail stores, officials said.
The food industry's "nutrition facts" labels were revised in the early 1990s to give consumers uniform information about serving sizes and nutrients. They became mandatory on virtually all processed food by 1994. But raw cuts of meat generally were left out of the labeling overhaul.
USDA officials said the new rule was aimed at helping Americans to be better informed about the meat they buy. The new rule comes at a time when consumer advocates and lawmakers alike are railing against the obesity problem among American children. Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that American men consume 7% more calories — and women 18% more — than they did in 1971.
Food nutrition experts say consumers may be surprised at what they read: According to the USDA's Nutrient Data Laboratory, a 4-ounce serving of ground beef that is 80% lean meat contains about 280 calories — with 200 of those calories coming from 23 grams of total fat.
"More and more, busy American families want nutrition information that they can quickly and easily understand," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement released Wednesday. "We need to do all we can to provide nutrition labels that will help consumers make informed decisions."
The American Meat Institute, a trade group, said retailers would be challenged to roll out the new labels in time to meet the 12-month implementation period. Still, the group noted that the new requirements would give the industry a chance to tout some of its more healthful options at the meat counter.
Mark Dopp, the trade group's senior vice president of regulatory affairs, pointed out that a 3.5-ounce serving of skinless, boneless chicken breast is 165 calories and 3.57 grams of fat and the same-size serving of beef round roast has 166 calories and 4.87 grams of fat.