CHICAGO (CBS) – What’s for dinner? Soon, you’ll have a better idea. New labels will be showing up on the meat, chicken and pork you buy.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports on how they could help consumers make smarter choices at the grocery store.
Staring back from store shelves, mandatory nutrition labels have been feeding our hunger for healthy food information since 1993, but meats and poultry have been largely exempt.
For consumers like Don Hom, who enjoys beef, discerning how caloric or fatty a portion of meat may be has been a guessing game.
But, in a year, nutrition labels will be required on most cuts of meat.
Consumers will learn for example that a 4-ounce serving of ground beef has roughly 340 calories and 46 percent of the daily recommended amount of fat.
The USDA says if you can navigate the current labels, the new ones should be no problem.
But unlike larger chain stores, butchers say the labels will require some extra effort for their specialty cuts.
The new rules will allow them to research nutrition information and provide it to customers at checkout.
“Everything varies a little on every cut of meat we have. Every butcher is going to cut it with slightly more or less fat,” said Bill Beagle, butcher at Paulina Market.
Many packagers were already displaying similar information on a voluntary basis.
However, some consumer watchdogs say the new labels don’t go far enough.
Instead of information on a 4-ounce serving, they would have liked to have seen information for the entire package.