On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its final rule requiring that processors of raw meat and poultry disclose the products’ added solutions on their labels. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is requiring that the descriptive designation include the percentage of added solution and the individual ingredients or multi-ingredient components in the solution listed in descending order of predominance by weight. The agency proposed changes to the labeling of these products on July 27, 2011, in response to petitions wanting to prevent consumers from being misled by the marketing of added-solution poultry products. In 2010, the Truthful Labeling Coalition, which included three meat and poultry processors, wrote to then-Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen and complained that Pilgrim’s Pride labelled their chicken “100% Natural” and “Reduced Sodium” despite containing 180 mg of sodium per serving — “four times the amount of sodium in truly natural single-ingredient chicken that has not been pumped full of saltwater.” Michael Jacobson, executive director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, praised the rule, stating that about 60 percent of all raw meat and poultry products are injected with, or soaked in, a salty solution. “That sodium increases blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and strokes,” he said. The finalized rule “will make it clear to shoppers that many meat and poultry products are adulterated, not enhanced, with high percentages of salty solutions.” FSIS stated that the new rule will improve public awareness, will allow consumers to better determine whether certain products are suitable for their dietary needs, and may help lead to “an increase in consumer welfare.” The rule will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

  • verushka

    Besides the adulterated liquids added to poultry products and meat products, the consumer is being charged for the added liquid adulterants as if it were part of the total “meat”weight. This is cheating the consumer as we are paying for the added liquid weight as if it were the “meat “product”. So in effect the consumer is paying a higher price than the product weighs and we are being cheated. Adulterated, added water is far cheaper than meat or poultry, yet we are being charged for “meat/poultry” for the added “water” ingredients. This should be unlawful and the producers should refund to Americans the dollars they have wrongfully profited from selling us water at the price of meat/poultry.

    • Pudge

      I am trying to get an answer to what my yield should be on a 10 lb bag cheese steak meat. I am only getting 6.5 lbs on average after cooking on a marinade solution that used to be labeled 10% since the label requirements changed I am losing a 1lb per bag. I used to get 7.5 lbs

  • Jennifer Madden Dvm

    Very happy to see a good and reasonable law.