Rep. DeLauro: Finalize mechanically tenderized meat label rule

Following the release of a final labeling rule for added solutions in raw meat and poultry products, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) is urging the Obama administration to turn their attention to mechanically tenderized meat. 

DeLauro has been calling on the Department of Agriculture to finalize a rule, which will require meat packers to label beef that is mechanically tenderized, before the end of the year. Mechanically tenderized meat carries a higher risk of being contaminated with bacteria that causes food poisoning. 

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“These products are not currently adequately labeled so consumers do not know that they are different, present different risks, and require different preparation than whole cuts of beef,” DeLauro said in a news release. 

“This is not a small problem: a 2008 USDA study indicated that about 50 million pounds of mechanically tenderized beef products are sold every month. The Administration must act quickly to address this so American consumers will not be left in the dark for another three years.”

If the rule is not finalized by the end of the day today, food safety advocates say it won’t be implemented until January 2018 due to Food Safety and Inspection Service uniform compliance date requirements for labeling meat and poultry products. 

On Wednesday, the USDA published a final rule that requires meat packers to label raw meat and poultry products that contain added solutions.

“I am pleased with today’s announcement that the administration has finalized the added solutions rule,” DeLauro said. “As families sit down to celebrate the new year they may be unaware their ham, turkey or roast contains a solution with added sodium."