Classes of poultry revisions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is proposing to amend the poultry class standards of identity to better reflect poultry sold in today’s market.

Advancements in breeding and feeding allow chickens to reach market at an earlier age than when the standards were developed some 30 years ago. Broilers, type of chicken most widely sold in grocery stores, currently can be up to 13 weeks old, but most are less than 7 weeks old. The proposed rule would specify broilers be “less than 10 weeks” old. Age is important in poultry marketing because younger birds are more tender.

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