Register Now for the Veal Summit
The Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, will conduct the Fifth Annual Veal Summit for all producer, packer, processor, distributor, retail and food service partners and state Beef Council staff on April 4. The purpose of the Summit is to provide an update on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 veal promotion and quality assurance programs, seek input on research and promotion efforts for FY 2019 and conduct an information exchange on the major regulatory and marketing issues that most affect the veal industry. The Veal Summit will be conducted at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia-Valley Forge, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Click this link to register for the Veal Summit. If further information is needed, contact Bill Sessions at email@example.com or 703/881-1030.
Veal Quality Assurance Program (VQA) Update
The updated Veal Quality Assurance training materials and certification resources will be reviewed at the Veal Summit April 4. The VQA program provides veal farmers and industry leaders with the educational resources to develop and follow a comprehensive herd health plan and calf care program dedicated to producing consistent and exceptional quality veal. It also helps identify potential problem areas and solutions to ensure that every veal farmer meets the obligations and responsibilities inherent in raising animals for food. The Best Management Practices in the VQA program necessary for certification include:
- Animal Health
- Feed and Nutrition
- Housing and Facilities
- Handling and Transportation
- Overall Management
The new training and certification resources will be available online at www.vealfarm.com following the Veal Summit.
In the News
Meat Institute Launches Product Center Detailing Nutritious Prepared Meat Product Choices.
The Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, last week unveiled a new Product Center, which catalogues more than 1500 products in 12 prepared meat categories that are lower in sodium or fat, American Heart Association Certified, natural or organic. Product categories include bacon, bologna, corned beef, ham, hot dogs, jerky/snack sticks, pastrami, roast beef, salami, sausage and sliced turkey.
The Product Center is designed to be easily searchable for consumers and health professionals seeking more information about specific products or brands that fit a particular nutrition profile. The majority of products also include a link to the brand’s website where users can find additional details including full nutrition profiles and more information about where to buy products. In addition, each category page features general nutrition information and links to more resources about each particular product.
The Product Center is one of several resources on meat and poultry nutrition at www.meatpoultrynutrition.org. The site also includes details on the various nutrients found in meat and their benefits in the diet, a research library featuring more than 100 studies outlining the nutrition benefits of meat and a meat nutrition quiz.
Thirteenth Annual Power of Meat Study Finds Convenience, Transparency, Wellness Among Trends Driving Meat Purchases. The Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) last week released the 13th annual Power of Meat Study, finding transparency, convenience and wellness considerations are among the most influential factors driving meat purchases at retail.
The study results indicate consumers are finding the health and nutrition information on meat and poultry choices they seek, as 79 percent of shoppers feel there is sufficient information available to make educated decisions about the nutrition and healthfulness of various meat and poultry cuts. This represents a 10 percent increase from 2016, the last time the Power of Meat tracked this question. Meanwhile, seven in 10 shoppers are interested in a variety of package sizes for portion control and dietary callouts on the pack, led by protein content, total fat and sodium.
The research also reveals transparency is driving purchases as consumers seek products with more information pertaining to corporate and social responsibility practices particularly related to companies’ sourcing, raising, animal welfare and environmental practices.
In addition, the report found industry can drive demand and sales by finding ways to enhance consumers’ meat knowledge. Although shoppers report having sufficient nutrition and health-related information, more than 42 percent of consumers state they would purchase an extensive variety of meats and cook with meat more often if they knew more about different cuts and preparation methods.
While supermarkets remain the lead channel for meat purchases, consumer willingness to order meat online is growing, with the share of shoppers who bought meat online at least once in 2018 up to 19 percent from four percent in 2015. Consumers, seeking convenience, also increased purchases of value-added meat and poultry, with sales growing from nine percent in 2016 to 21 percent in 2018. Price per pound, however, remains the greatest influence on meat and poultry purchasing decisions, followed by appearance – the consumer expression of quality.
The report, conducted by 210 Analytics, LLC, in partnership with Sealed Air’s Food Care Division, examines meat purchasing, preparation and consumption trends through the eyes of the shopper. It was unveiled at the Annual Meat Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Meat Conference attendees can get the report for free, otherwise it is available for purchase here. The report’s top 10 findings are summarized here.
USDA and HHS Invite Public Comments on Topics and Scientific Questions for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are requesting public comments through March 30, 2018, regarding priority topics and supporting scientific questions to help develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). This action represents step one in a four-step process to develop the 2020-2025 DGA. After finalizing the topics and supporting questions, USDA and HHS will post a public call for nominations to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The areas of expertise needed will be based on the final topics and supporting scientific questions.
USDA and HHS are proposing a life stage approach for this edition of the DGA, focusing on priority scientific questions from birth through older adulthood. The 2014 Farm Bill mandated that, starting with the 2020-2025 edition, the DGA must provide guidance for women who are pregnant and infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months. In addition to focusing on life stages, the topics and supporting questions for public comment reflect a continued focus on overall eating and drinking patterns, not on individual foods or food groups. To submit comments, click here.
FNS Extends Comment Period Regarding Child Nutrition Program Crediting. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) extended until April 23, 2018, the comment period to receive public input regarding its request for information on Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Crediting. FNS requested comments regarding determining how its crediting system can best address today’s evolving food and nutrition environment.
FDA Releases Several Guidance Documents on Nutrition Facts and Other Labeling Issues. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week released several guidance documents related to the Nutrition Facts label final rule. The final rule updates the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared; provides updated Daily Reference Values and Reference Daily Intake values that are based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports; and revises the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label, among other changes.
FDA issued a small entity compliance guide intended to help small companies comply with the final rule, “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments.” The final rule defines a single-serving container; requires dual-column labeling for certain containers; updates, modifies and establishes several reference amounts customarily consumed; and makes technical amendments to various aspects of the serving size regulations.
FDA also released final guidance explaining how the agency evaluates the scientific evidence supporting citizen petitions to add certain isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (NDC) to the regulatory definition of dietary fiber. In addition, FDA issued final guidance about reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs), which provides examples of products that belong to product categories included in the tables of RACCs per Eating Occasion.
Two DOJ Memoranda Limit the Use of Guidance Documents in Civil Actions. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issued two memoranda that limit the use of DOJ and other agencies’ guidance documents to support civil enforcement actions because guidance documents do not impose binding standards on private parties. The first memorandum, issued in November 2017, provides DOJ will no longer issue guidance that imposes new requirements or binding standards on private parties because guidance “forgoes the rulemaking process.” DOJ guidance, according to the memorandum, may still be used in civil enforcement actions if its purpose is to educate regulated parties or guide the application of laws and regulations.
The second memorandum, released January 2018, indicates the Administration will seek to apply DOJ’s new policy on guidance to guidance developed by other agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The memoranda, however, is not expected to have a significant impact on FDA-initiated enforcement actions.
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