Vague “USDA Graded” meat labels to get replaced
Ahold USA’s new meat labels, which were vaguely labeled as “USDA Graded,” will be replaced after the company was contacted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The labels, reports The Sentinal, were introduced on Ahold’s Butcher Shop brand of beef to its supermarkets, including Giant USA. The label did not specify the grade of beef.
“We were operating under the understanding that this labeling change was an acceptable practice,” Tracy Pawelski, vice president of external communications at Ahold USA, said.
The Washington Post reported Monday that the USDA had not previously seen a label that just says “USDA Graded,” and that such a move could potentially be to save money on labeling, though it could also lead some companies to introduce an unusually high amount of lower-quality beef.
“We have been working with the USDA to ensure that new labels, which will be in stores beginning this week and next, are clear to customers and in full compliance with USDA standards,” Pawelski said. “We apologize to customers for any confusion caused by this labeling error.”