The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has proposed a new rule for labeling raw meat and poultry products that contain injections, marinades or other solutions that may not be visible to the consumer.
FSIS said that some labels do not clearly identify solutions added to raw products to enhance flavor or texture, so consumers might buy products containing more sodium than they realize.
Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen said: "Consumers should be able to make an informed choice in the store, which is why we need to provide clear, informative labels that will help consumers make the best decisions about feeding their families. It has become evident that some raw meat and poultry labels, even those that follow our current guidelines, may not be clear."
The agency gave the example of a single-ingredient chicken breast and a chicken breast with added teriyaki marinade, in which case both may be labeled as "chicken breast," even though one could be 100 percent chicken breast and the other 60 percent chicken breast and 40 percent solution.
While the label of the teriyaki chicken breast must state that it contains solution, but the FSIS argues that consumers may not notice if it is not a part of the product's name, and has proposed that such a product should be labeled “chicken breast - 40% added solution of water and teriyaki sauce."
The proposed rule is open for comments and can be found online here: www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/Proposed_Rules/index.asp .