Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Myth: Meats don't have Nutrition Facts labels like other packaged foods.

Answer: BUSTED! Sort of…

Ground beef package with Nutrition Facts label
That was then, this is now. In March, you might have begun to see Nutrition Facts labels on some meats. However, the retailer has the option of providing point-of-purchase materials, such as hanging a poster with the information or offering a brochure, instead of putting a label on the meat. When you look at the posted information or the label on the meat, remember that it refers to a 3-ounce cooked serving. Also note that trans fat information is not required on the label.

Ground meat labels will make it much clearer how much fat is in what you buy. So you may see 80% lean / 20% fat and you know that this is higher in fat than a meat labeled 90% lean / 10% fat. Ground meat label information is based on 4 ounces raw, 3 ounces cooked. Only the raw information is required on the label. You may not find serving information on the label so you will have to calculate that yourself.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has point-of-purchase information on the Web at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/Nutrition_Labeling/index.asp

For more information, read New nutrition labels on meat and poultry make decisions easier on MissouriFamilies.org.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, schusterer@missouri.edu, 573-882-1933

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