Some changes are in the works in the nutritional labels for meat and poultry products.
The Agriculture Department's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) calls its proposal “a critical step in ensuring that consumers have updated nutritional information ... when purchasing meat and poultry products.”
The proposed rule, according to the government, will improve the presentation of nutrition information to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices.
"This new rule will provide more transparency on nutrition labels so that American consumers can make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families," said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Alfred Almanza. "The new nutrition facts panel will complement the many other proactive, prevention-based food policies that we've put in place in recent years."
Specifically, FSIS is proposing to:
- Update the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared;
- Provide updated Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intake (RDI) values that are based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports;
- Amend the labeling requirements for foods represented or purported to be specifically for children under the age of 4 years and pregnant women and lactating women and establish nutrient reference values specifically for these population subgroups;
- Revise the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label;
- Amend the definition of a single-serving container;
- Require dual-column labeling for certain containers;
- Update and modify several reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs or reference amounts); and
- Consolidate the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products into a new Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part.
Since 1980, the government has published the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) every five years.
FSIS says its proposal “would assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices and help consumers follow the advice in the 2015-2020 DGA.”