The early American farmer raised and slaughtered their own livestock and personally controlled the entire process for the meat they ate. The industrial revolution changed the way meat was produced as farming gave way to meatpacking houses, new transportation methods, new market opportunities, butcher shops, and general stores. Farmers became consumers and dependent upon unseen third parties and new businesses to produce their meat. The early pioneers of meatpacking learned by trial and error. Meat science was in its infancy and there were no standards, grades or established commodity markets. Marketing meat was a new concept and unscrupulous practices were common. The public distrust in meat production methods and concerns for safe meat brought about inspection and labeling of meat products that evolved over 175 years. The history and sequence of events listed here details the advancement of modern day meat labeling. The history of meat labeling parallels other foods and the inspection and safety of meat products.
In the early 1800s, well over 60% of the U.S. labor force was involved in farming. These early farmers raised their own vegetables, produced their own milk, butter and cheese, and raised and slaughtered their own meat. Transportation was confined to horseback, carts, wagons and boats. Non-farming families purchased or traded goods and services for food from local farmers. The home-grown food could be seen and touched before purchasing. The relationship between the non-farming families and the farmer was personal and transparent.
In 1812, the first American canning factory was established in New York City. Canned foods were packed in tin-plated wrought-iron cans, preserving meats, fruits and vegetables as non-perishable food. The canned food concept was a predecessor of commercial food canners and paved the way to process and pack foods in bulk and sell to wider civilian markets. Canned foods established the need for transparency through labeling.
In the 1840s, Cincinnati, Ohio emerged as the major meatpacking center of the U.S. A typical farmer owned pigs used for supplying pork for the family table. The central location of Cincinnati attracted farmers with a market for their pig's and brought new employment opportunities for local residents. Cincinnati's location near several transportation routes made for easy access to markets. The pigs were slaughtered and sold to western settlers or shipped to eastern markets. During this time Cincinnati was known as "Porkopolis" due to the pork meatpacking industry. These early packers started the integration of centralized livestock slaughtering, marketing of meat carcasses, and preservation methods for meat products. This raised the need for inspections, sanitation standards, research and testing of preservatives and identification and labeling of meat products.
In 1846, Dr. Lewis C. Beck, a professor of chemistry at Rutgers, published the first work about food and drug adulteration in the U.S. In 1850, Lemuel Shattuck, a mathematician and statistician, issued a report that documented a marked decline in the average life expectancy of citizens of major American urban centers, and indicted food adulteration as a major public health problem. This raised awareness of adulteration as a public health dilemma. As a result of these concerns, many U.S. states started adopting anti-adulteration statutes. The state laws focused on each state's special interest and varied greatly. As more state laws were enacted the need for consistency in the laws advanced.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act that established the United States Department of Agriculture. Lincoln's childhood years were spent pioneer-farming and he understood the farmer and the need for improving agriculture. The USDA was the first measure to become law under his presidency. President Lincoln appointed Isaac Newton, a farmer and marketer, as the first Commissioner of Agriculture. The USDA was the predecessor to the Bureau of Chemistry.
In 1862, Charles M. Wetherill was appointed the first chemist of the new Department of Agriculture. He set up a laboratory where he analyzed samples of food, soils, fertilizers, and other agricultural items. The research and analysis of agriculture was focused on food preservation, food additives and the effects of pesticides on plants. Eventually the early scientist became involved in food safety.
In 1865, the civil war ended and the American west was being settled. Cattle ranching and livestock production was quickly emerging. Exports of U.S. livestock fell under increased restrictions from foreign countries. U.S. producers urged the government to implement an inspection program that would enable them to compete in foreign markets. In 1865, USDA Secretary, Isaac Newton, urged Congress to enact legislation providing for the quarantine of imported animals, which had long been identified as a source of disease. The Act became law and jurisdiction was given to the Treasury Department. Little preventive action was taken and diseased animals continued to be imported. Individual states attempted to control or eradicate livestock diseases, but the inconsistencies in state requirements and enforcement was nonexistent.
In the mid to late-1860s, Chicago, Illinois, emerged as the United States' meatpacking center. The improvement of the nation's transportation system, and the emerging supply of Midwest cattle, moved the meatpacking industry westward. Chicago became a major railroad center and The Union Stock Yards became the center for livestock trade in the U.S. Late in the 1800s and early 1900s, the advent of electricity, along with the use of mechanical refrigeration, meat choppers and mixers, drove production in the packing houses and the need for inspection, better sanitation standards and labeling of meat products.
In 1868, the refrigerator railroad boxcar was patented. On May 10, 1869, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads joined at Promontory Summit in Utah. Competition from packers for a consistent supply of beef brought about the great cattle drives and the American cowboy. Railheads were the destination for cattle drovers from as far away as Texas, where the cattle would be shipped to railroad centers and packing houses in Chicago, Kansas City and Omaha. Aspiring Chicago meatpackers invested in refrigerated railroad boxcars that could be used to ship dressed beef and pork products to the eastern seaboard for consumption and export. The connecting of the eastern and western U.S. railway system instigated more interstate commerce of livestock and meat products. The fragile American livestock economy was undergoing changes that could affect market prices, the competitive position of the farmer, the local slaughterhouse, and the price consumers paid for meat products. The early concept for a meat supply chain was emerging and with it the growing need for livestock disease control, meat inspection and labeling of meat products.
In 1879, Peter Collier, the head of the Division of Chemistry, urged federal legislation to make food adulteration a crime. In 1883, Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley became the chief chemist at the USDA's Division of Chemistry. Dr. Wiley was a pioneer of food chemistry, food toxicology and food safety. In 1884, he founded the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists. The association developed, tested, standardized, and validated methods of analysis required for enforcing laws related to agricultural commodities.
In 1884, President Chester Arthur signed an act establishing the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). The act combined the research functions of the Veterinary Division and the enforcement responsibilities of the Treasury Cattle Commission under the Department of Treasury. Quarantine stations and border custom offices were transferred to the BAI. The act's purpose was to conduct scientific investigations and administer statutes and regulations to protect the public from infected or diseased meat products, eradicate animal diseases, and improve livestock quality. The BAI was the forerunner of the Food Safety and Quality Service (FSQS), which eventually was renamed the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
In 1887, Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act (ICCA). The act created the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). The ICC was the first federal regulatory agency and was charged with ensuring free competition to determine the price and quality of products and services offered to the public. The ICC addressed monopolies, and railroads were the first industry subject to federal regulations. The act provided the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce.
In the 1880s, cattle-raising states started passing local inspection and antitrust legislation to protect their cattle-raising interests. Protest from the states against the Chicago packers included collusion in buying cattle that lead to lower cattle prices and accusations that diseased animals were used for canned and dressed beef being shipped from the Chicago packers. In 1888 and 1889, the "Vest Committee", named after Senator George Graham Vest of Missouri, held numerous hearings on the issues raised by the states on inspection and antitrust concerns and proposed legislation for federal meat inspection.
In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the first law requiring inspection of meat products. The law required the USDA's Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to inspect salt pork and bacon intended for export. In 1891, the law was amended to require the inspection and certification of all live cattle and beef intended for export. With the amended law, the BAI was given the inspection mandate and packing houses that intended to sell meat interstate had to apply for government inspection.
In 1900, the U.S. labor force that was involved in farming dropped to 38% and the industrial revolution was gaining momentum. In the larger towns, general stores were growing in popularity, and consumers were starting to depend more on food products from other geographical areas. New paperboard packaging was being used as cartons for packing food items by food manufacturers. Consumers had no way of monitoring the content or quality of the new pre-packaged products. Honest food manufacturing companies were lobbying congress to pass anti-misbranding legislation. State laws were a confusing patchwork of numerous regulations preventing manufacturers from competing fairly across state lines because of the different kinds of labels required by each state. Unscrupulous manufacturers were hurting the industry by implicating suspicion about the quality of all products on the market. Congressional testimony in 1900 and 1901 concluded that manufacturers would be willing to label their goods properly if their competitors were required to do the same—and a federal regulatory agency was needed for enforcement. The personal relationship between the consumer and the farmer was dissipating as the food economy was being driven by food manufacturing, meat packing, the local general stores and small butcher shop. The chance of food adulteration and misbranding and the need for labeling was quickly emerging.
In 1902, Dr. Harvey Wiley, chief chemist at the USDA's Division of Chemistry, started a project he referred to as the "Hygienic Table Trials". The project recruited 12 young healthy clerks to eat the most commonly used food additives to determine the effects on the human body. Testing included borax, salicylic, sulfuric and benzoic acids, and formaldehyde. The press picked up on the project and actively publicized its activities and renamed it "The Poison Squad". The project demonstrated the negative effects of food preservatives and raised awareness on food adulteration with the citizenry and congress.
In 1906, American journalist and novelist, Upton Sinclair, published The Jungle. Sinclair wrote the book to reveal the harsh conditions in Chicago's meatpacking industry. The book described working class poverty, harsh living and working conditions, and the deeply rooted corruption of people in power. President Theodore Roosevelt read the book and agreed with some of Sinclair's conclusions. He assigned the Labor Commissioner, Charles P. Neill, to go to Chicago to investigate the meatpacking facilities. Neill was appalled by the conditions and his report to President Roosevelt supported much of what Sinclair portrayed in the book. Roosevelt submitted the report to Congress. The president wrote, "radical action must be taken to do away with the efforts of arrogant and selfish greed on the part of the capitalist." The public outcry over health violations and unsanitary practices in the packing house industry led to the Federal Meat Inspection Act.
In 1906, the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) was passed by congress. The act authorized the USDA to inspect livestock before slaughter, the quarantine and destruction of diseased animals, postmortem inspection of carcasses, and inspection of meat food products. The act required inspection tags and labels to identify meat products and prohibited the sale of products under a false trade or deceptive name. Appointment of inspectors and sanitary inspection of establishments was mandated. Meats not inspected were prohibited from interstate commerce. The act gave the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) inspection and enforcement responsibility for FMIA.
Also in 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act (PFDA) was passed by congress, also known as the "Wiley Act". The act prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of adulterated or misbranded foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors. The act did not require any specific information, such as the name of the food, the ingredients, quantity, or the name and address of the manufacturer and distributor. The act was not explicit on food standards and safety of food and drugs. The act gave the USDA's Bureau of Chemistry (BOC) enforcement responsibility for foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors.
The 1906 FMIA and PFDA acts gave the federal government wide-ranging enforcement authority to regulate interstate commerce for foods, drugs, medicines, liquors, and meat products. These acts initiated the regulatory process and events that lead to modern day labeling.
In 1913, Samuel W. Gould, a House of Representative member from Maine, sponsored the Gould Amendment to the Pure Food and Drug Act. At the time, weight and measurement standards varied by state. The amendment addressed the lack of consistency in the state weight and measure laws and required uniformity in the laws. The amendment required food package contents to be "plainly and conspicuously marked on the outside of the package in terms of weight, measure or numerical count." This act initiated the regulatory process that lead to modern day weight and measure laws.
In 1914, the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA) was passed by congress. The act created the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and prohibited unfair competition methods and deceptive acts that may affect business commerce. The act gave the FTC enforcement responsibility for FTCA.
In 1916, entrepreneur Clarence Saunders opened a Piggly Wiggly store in Memphis, Tennessee. His concept was a self-service grocery store where the consumer could select branded pre-packaged products and pay for the items at a checkout counter. The grocery store did not sell fresh meats or produce. Typically the store employees would stock the shelves during the slower periods of the day and service the customers during the busy times, which was efficient and reduced labor costs. The early self-service grocery stores drove the need for more pre-packaged products, as well as branding and labeling.
In 1922, The National Live Stock and Meat Board (i.e., the Meat Board) was founded by meat producers and packers. The Meat Board was the first industry agency organized to enhance the public image of meat and strengthen the demand for meat through research, education and promotion. Over the years, the Meat Board developed standardized nomenclature for meat products that later led to the creation of the Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards (URMIS) and labeling for Beef, Pork, Lamb, and Veal meat cuts.
In 1927, the USDA's Bureau of Chemistry was reorganized and renamed the Food, Drug, and Insecticide Administration and, in 1931, it was renamed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In 1930, only 21% of the U.S. labor force was involved in farming. Many farmers took their livestock to the local packing house to be slaughtered for meat. Urban consumers made a trip to a local retail butcher shop where they would select the item they wanted from an open service case. The butcher would retrieve the items from the service meat case or special cut the request. Cutting meat required dealing with whole carcasses and/or grinding to fulfill the request. The process was very labor-intensive and slow because it was limited by the number of butchers. The final step of the process was to wrap and price the consumer's package. Typically, the total price was written on the wrapped package, and the product name or weight was not included. The initial eye appeal of the product, social interaction and trust of the butcher was the consumer's only assurance of product integrity and price. The intensive labor process added substantial cost to the meat item and drove the need for smaller carcass cuts, self-service meat counters and labeling of meat products.
In 1930, Michael J. Cullen, a former Kroger store employee, opened a 6,000-square-foot store called King Kullen Grocery Company in Jamaica, Queens in New York City. Cullen's vision was to have self-service shopping with separate food departments and a parking lot—and to "pile it high and sell it low." The new combination "Supermarket" concept provided consumers with convenient one-stop food shopping at discount pricing. As the great depression took hold, other grocery chains like A&P, Kroger and Safeway followed the concept. The Supermarket concept drove manufacturers to develop more pre-packaged food products that required labels.
In the mid-1930s, numerous new food and drug products were created and marketed by manufacturers. There was considerable resistance to the Pure Food and Drug Act (PFDA) from the industry. Some new products were poor quality, deceptively packaged, made false claims, or did not provide identity standards. Many of the new products were untested and outside the scope of the Pure Food and Drug Act. Consumer protection organizations and the press pushed for replacement of the old law, more factory inspections and control of product advertising. Congress debated new enhanced food and drug regulations but took no action. In 1937, a drug company marketed a new sulfa wonder drug called Elixir Sulfanilamide. The product was untested and highly toxic and over 100 people died in the U.S. The tragedy and public uproar gave congress the impetus to pass updated food and drug consumer protection laws.
In 1938, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FFDC) Act was passed by congress. The law provided broad labeling requirements and became the standard for labeling food and drug products. Labels required the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, seller, or distributor. Misbranding enforcement was specified and included standards of identity and definition of particular foods, requirements for the common or usual name, and the common or usual name of each ingredient. The act gave the USDAs, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcement responsibility for the FFDC.
In 1940, the FDA was moved from the USDA to the Federal Security Agency and, in 1953, the Federal Security Agency became the Department of Health, Education and Welfare which was the predecessor to the Department of Health and Human Services.
In the 1940s and 1950s, retailers started transitioning the meat department's service cases to self-service cases. This allowed retailers to improve variety and productivity while reducing labor costs. With the advancement of self-service cases came the use of packaging trays and see-through clear cellophane wrap that could be heat-sealed to enclose the final product within the tray. New pre-pack scales and manual labeling systems had insert keys that had engraved product names. After wrapping the tray, the employee placed the meat package on the pre-pack scale and weighed the product. Next, the employee entered the price information into the labeler which created a label with heat adhesive that was then placed on the meat package. The advent of the label with the product name was the most significant event to date for retail meat labeling and drove the need for better product identification and consistent cut names and labeling.
After 1945, the meat processing industry changed significantly. The rapid growth of the federal highway system and the development of refrigerated trucks allowed meatpackers to move out of expensive urban areas. Competition in the meatpacking business led to sophisticated, mechanized plants in less expensive rural areas. Meatpackers were producing more wholesale cuts of meat, iced packed cartons of poultry and smoked boxed processed products. The meat industry processing operations were becoming increasingly complex and producing greater and greater volume, resulting in increased concerns about adulteration and mislabeling.
In 1946, The Agricultural Marketing Act (AMA) was passed by congress. The AMA directed continuous research to improve the marketing, handling, storage, processing, transportation, and distribution of agricultural products, and cooperation among Federal and State agencies, producers, industry organizations, and others in the development and effectuation of research and marketing programs for agriculture. The AMA also allowed for voluntary inspection of exotic and game animals and gave the USDA authority to inspect, certify and identify the class, quality and condition of agricultural products.
In 1953, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) was created and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) was abolished. The USDA reorganized and the functions of the BAI were transferred to the ARS.
In 1957, Congress passed the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA). The act prohibited the sale of misbranded poultry and required that plant facilities be sanitary and product labels be accurate and truthful. It required that poultry products shipped in interstate commerce be inspected before slaughter, after slaughter and at the point of entry into the United States, if the poultry was imported. The act gave the Agricultural Research Service enforcement responsibility for the PPIA.
In 1958, in response to the public's concern about invisible hazards from chemicals added directly or indirectly to foods, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 was amended with the Food Additive Amendment to ensure the safety of ingredients used in processed foods, including animal drug residues in meat and poultry products. Also in 1958, after a three-year campaign by animal-advocacy groups, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) was signed into law. It required that the government only purchase livestock that had been slaughtered humanely but did not directly require it of industry.
In 1962, the Federal State Cooperative Act (also known as the Talmadge-Aiken Act) established a state and federal cooperative inspection program to better utilize facilities and personal and avoid duplication of functions. It authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to coordinate with State Departments of Agriculture to use state employees and facilities to carry out inspection functions under FMIA.
In 1965, the Agriculture Research Service (ARS), Consumer and Marketing Service was reorganized to include the Meat Inspection Division and Poultry Inspection Division, merging federal meat and poultry inspection into one program.
In 1967, the Wholesome Meat Act was enacted and, in 1968, the Wholesome Poultry Products Act followed. These acts required states to have inspection programs "equal to" that of the federal government. The acts included requirements to conduct and maintain meat and poultry inspection programs and maintain minimum sanitation requirements. The inspection mergers and wholesome acts set the stage for the enforcement of inspections and labeling of meat and poultry products by the USDA.
In 1967, Congress enacted the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). This act established package labeling requirements to help consumers get accurate information on the net quantity of the contents of packages and make value comparisons between packages of similar commodities. It required the identity of the product, the name and place of business of the retailer, packer or manufacturer, and the net weight quantity of the product to be placed on the package. Legislators wanted weight and measure standards to ensure consumers were getting what they paid for.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the meat processing industries production capabilities and the retail industries migration to the self-service meat case, brought about an increased variety of meat cuts and inconsistency in product identification. A single cut of meat could be labeled with as many as a dozen different "popular" or "fanciful" names. Confusion and frustration from the wide array of names used to describe meat cuts resulted in consumer boycotts and mislabeling claims by consumers. The meat industry's leading organizations agreed that "something had to be done" about the puzzling variety of meat cut names. In 1971, the Industrywide Cooperative Meat Identification Standards Committee (ICMISC) was created to formulate and promote a uniform national meat identity standard program for the retail meat segment. The ICMISC was a consortium of retailers, suppliers, government agencies, and industry professionals. The National Live Stock and Meat Board was asked to coordinate efforts.
In 1973, the Industrywide Cooperative Meat Identification Standards Committee introduced the Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards (URMIS). URMIS was a consumer-oriented identification system which simplified the perplexing array of meat cut names and provided standard names for labeling meat cuts.
In 1977, the Food Safety and Quality Service (FSQS) was created to carry on inspection activities and perform meat and poultry grading. In 1981, FSQS was reorganized and renamed the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The FSIS was created as the public health regulatory agency to ensure the safety and security of the U.S. meat and poultry products supply.
In 1978, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) of 1958 was amended, requiring that all meat inspected by the FSIS for use as human food be produced from livestock slaughtered by humane methods.
In 1988, The Surgeon General published a "Report on Nutrition and Health" and in 1989, and The National Research Council published the report "Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk." The reports on nutrition and health, emphasized the relationship between diet and the leading cause of death among Americans. The Surgeon General's report called on the food industry to reform products to reduce the total fat and to carry nutrition labels on all foods. In 1989, Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), directed FDA to undertake an initiative to revise the food label. Due to advances in food science, recommendations for dietary change, the food industries use of nutrition labels and many state government involvement in food labeling, legislation for nutrition was passed.
In 1990, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) was passed by congress. The NLEA amended the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to give the FDA authority to require nutrition labeling on food packages and specified the nutrients to be listed in the nutrition label. It required nutrients be presented in the context of the daily diet; specified that serving sizes should represent "an amount customarily consumed and which is expressed in a common household measure that is appropriate to the food;" and provided for a voluntary nutrition labeling program for raw fruits, vegetables and fish. The NLEA only required food products regulated by the FDA.
In 1991, the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) was amended to include voluntary nutrition labeling for single-ingredient raw meat and poultry be provided on the label or at point-of-purchase. Also, mandatory nutrition labeling was required on all other meat and poultry products including ground or chopped products, and additional definitions for "lean" and "extra lean" as unique descriptors for meat and poultry products. The FSIS agreed to coordinate efforts with the FDA to implement the requirements for meat and poultry product labels.
In 1993, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the western U.S. resulted in four children's deaths and 178 other victims with permanent injuries. The cause was from ground beef patties not being cooked long enough or at a high enough temperature to kill the bacteria. Consumer groups advocated that the USDA require safe handling instructions and issue warnings on food products that may contain bacteria capable of causing injury or death to the consumer. Over the years, poor consumer food handling had been implicated in a number of cases of foodborne illness. The safe handling instructions were seen as way to educate and change consumer behaviors that were not consistent with safe food handling and food preparation.
In 1994, the FSIS issued a ruling that mandated safe handling instructions on all raw meat and poultry products. The safe handling labels outlined four steps critical to food safety: storage, cross-contamination prevention, proper cooking temperatures, and handling of leftovers. In its regulator impact assessment of the rule requiring labels, the FSIS estimated that a net positive benefit would accrue if foodborne illness were reduced by 3% as a result of the safe handling instructions on meat labels. The label tells the consumer how to safely store, prepare and handle raw meat and poultry products in the home.
In 1996, FSIS issued the Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Systems ruling. The rule's focus is on prevention of foodborne illness and reduction of microbial pathogens on raw products that can cause illness. HACCP establishes testing programs to ensure standards are met and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) to ensure better compliance with existing Federal sanitation requirements that focus on preventing direct product adulteration. The ruling clarified the respective roles of government and industry in food safety and provided guidelines for a strong enforcement program.
In 2002, after the al-Qaeda airliner hijackings and attacks of September 11, 2001, The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Response Act was passed by congress. The act addressed the nation's ability to prevent attacks on our food system, and the traceability of food products. One of the essential components of traceability is product identification and labeling of food products.
In 2012, consumer research was conducted by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the beef checkoff, and the National Pork Board (NPB). The results from the consumer research raised the need to review current meat cut nomenclature to determine if it appropriately supported consumer needs. It was ultimately determined that, in order to be useful to consumers shopping for and preparing fresh meat products, the URMIS system required a major overhaul. In 2013, the Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards system (URMIS) was updated and a common name standard was created; the standard shortened and simplified retail cut names and eliminated unappealing terms and redundancies in the nomenclature. The Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards system (URMIS) provides the common names that are accepted by the FSIS for naming and labeling of meat cuts.
In 2017, less than 2% of the U.S. labor force is involved in farming. Americans have become dependent on unseen third parties as the source for their meat products. New processed, value-added and convenience-type meat products will continue to grow and appeal to consumers. Growth of branded, case-ready and fixed-weight packaging concepts will require the supplier identify, package, and provide more labels for meat products. Labeling in the meat industry will continue to evolve to meet consumers' needs. Accurate labeling provides the needed information so consumers can make informed purchase decisions about meat products.
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