Fact Sheets

Anatomy of a Meat Product Label

In the U.S, labeling of meat and poultry products intended for interstate commerce is closely regulated by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The FSIS has strict rules regarding the content and appearance of meat or poultry product labels. These rules include everything from dating and safe handling instructions to how large a font must be. These strict labeling requirements protect consumers by providing them with the knowledge needed to make informed purchasing decisions.

Beta-Agonists: What Are They and Why Do We Use Them in Livestock Production?

Beta-adrenergic receptor agonists (beta-agonists, for short) are synthetic compounds that mimic some of the effects of naturally-occurring compounds by binding to beta-receptors on the surface of cells within the muscle, fat and other tissues of animals. Beta-agonists are used in human medicine for the treatment of conditions such as asthma. However, other types of beta-agonists are used in livestock production to enhance growth and alter body composition.

A Comparison Of Traditional And Alternative Meat Curing Methods

The practice of curing meats for human consumption has been around for thousands of years. The first cured meats are thought to have originated from meats salted using unrefined salt that naturally contained small amounts of nitrate. Cured meats have many specific characteristics and are a result of including of curing ingredients and reactions that create a stable pink cured meat color and unique  flavor and aroma associated with cured meat. Furthermore, these curing ingredients provide added antioxidant activity and microbial and pathogen control.

Mechanically Separated Poultry

Mechanically separated poultry (chicken or turkey) is a low-cost poultry protein, which is produced by mechanically separating bone and attached skeletal muscle. Mechanically separated chicken provides a cost-effective poultry protein to a variety of processed meat and poultry products. The finely chopped poultry product can be used in a number of products including large and small diameter sausages, nuggets, and patties.

Video Podcasts and Webinars

  • Grass or grain? Is there a definitively sustainable beef production system?


    The webinar examined the science relating to grass-fed and grain-fed beef in terms of sustainable... read more »

  • 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Update


    Kris Sollid, Registered Dietitian with the International Food Information Council and Sarah Romo... read more »

  • Meat in the Diet


    read more »

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