WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. government has required nutrition labeling since 1993 for products that are not raw, but as of Thursday, the labeling requirement includes raw meat.
Officials of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said under the new rule, packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry will feature nutrition facts panels on their labels.
Additionally, 40 of the most popular whole, raw cuts of meat and poultry -- such as chicken breast or steak -- will have nutritional information either on the package labels or on display at the store.
"Providing nutrition information on meat and poultry products in the store gives shoppers a clearer sense of the options available, allowing them to purchase items that are most appropriate for their families needs," Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, under secretary for food safety, said in a statement. "These new labels mark a significant step in the agency's efforts to help consumers make more informed food purchase decisions."
The new nutrition facts panels will list the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat that a product contains, Hagen said.
Consumers will be able to compare calories and fat content for ground turkey versus ground beef, or for pork chops versus chicken breasts, among other selections.