Water, water everywhere

In another of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman's 11th hour regulations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a new requirement. Meat processors must list clearly on labels the percentage of retained water or the maximum percentage of absorbed water of meat and poultry products.

Processors must also justify the presence of retained water as an unavoidable part of the process to meet food safety requirements. Those who can demonstrate the lack of retained water in their meat products may choose to exclude a retained-water statement on the label or to make a no-retained-water claim. "This step provides consumers with additional information about what's in the meat and poultry they purchase, helping them to make more informed choices," said Glickman in a statement announcing the new requirement. The regulation will be enforced one year after the January 9, 2001, publication of the rule.

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