Meat lovers and consumers will soon be able to identify what is nutritious about their favorite cuts.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that 40 cuts of meat and poultry will soon be required to have nutritional information that displays calories, total fat and saturated fat, on their labels in grocery stores.

“Consumers are used to seeing these types of nutrition fact labeling on other products out there in the market, and now they can have this same important information in meat and poultry,” Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA undersecretary for food safety, told ABCNews. “We’re excited to provide this tool to American consumers.”

Under this proposition, packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry will have to have nutrition fact labels, while whole and raw cuts of meat and poultry will need to have nutrition fact panels on their packages or be available for shoppers at the point-of-purchase. A lean meat statement will also be listed for meat products as well. These labels will be required for all 40 meat cuts by January 1, 2012.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that the idea was proposed so that consumers can make informed decisions about what they are purchasing in consideration of the government’s dietary guidelines

“This is long overdue,” Dr. Peter McCullough, chief academic and scientific officer for St. John Providence Health System in Detroit, told ABCNews. “The more comprehensive reporting we have regarding nutritional content, the better.”


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