Nutrition Facts Now on Meat, Poultry Products | Fitbie

Nutrition Facts Now on Meat, Poultry Products

A new USDA rule makes picking leaner cuts of meat easier for busy shoppers

Shopping for ground meat
Shopping for ground beef just got easier  |  Thinkstock

From burgers to tacos to spaghetti sauce, the list of recipes using ground meat is practically endless. So is the variety of ground beef and poultry products available at the grocery store, which can make picking healthy options confusing. Today, choosing good-for-you protein gets a little easier. A new USDA rule requires all packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry to feature nutrition facts panels on their labels.

“It’s the same information you already find on most other food products,” says Elisabeth Hagen, MD, secretary for food safety for the USDA. “The panel will clearly state calories, total fat and saturated fat, protein, and sodium.” Additionally, any product that lists a lean percentage statement, such as “90% lean,” must also state the fat percentage (“10% fat”). 

More: How to Read Food Labels

Whole, raw cuts of meat and poultry—think steaks or chicken breasts—got an upgrade as well. They now have nutrition facts panels either on their package labels or at the point of purchase in the form of posters, videos, pamphlets, or cards.

“We want to make it as quick and easy as possible for busy Americans to make healthy choices when they shop,” says Hagen.

More: 8 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Supermarket Tricks

USDA dietary guidelines recommend that each day, adults eat 5 to 6 ounces of lean protein (slightly more if you exercise regularly). (Search: What are the best sources of protein?) For ground meats and poultry, choose at least 90% lean, 10% fat—and 95%/5% is even better. Low-fat whole cuts include boneless, skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets; beef top round and top sirloin; and pork tenderloin.

For more on these new rules, visit

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