The pork and beef industries are renaming more than 350 cuts of meat in order to lure more consumers to outdoor grills this summer. According to the USDA, the supply of pork and beef hit a record high for the month of February.
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The National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program, with USDA approval, received permission to update the Uniform Retail Meat Identification Standards (URMIS), and although the URMIS system is voluntary, a majority of U.S. food retailers use it.
Patrick Fleming, director of retail marketing for the National Pork Board, said the revisions are the result of two years of consumer research, which found labels on packages of fresh cuts of pork and beef are confusing to shoppers.
The new retail names will also come with new labels for retail packages, informing consumers what part of the animal’s body the cut comes from, as well as include suggested cooking instructions.
When shoppers would see packages of “butler steak” or “beef shoulder top blade steak, boneless, flat iron” — they would walk away with an empty cart, said Trevor Amen, director of market intelligence for the Beef Checkoff Program.
If the new names are followed in stores nationwide this summer, the term “pork chop” will be replaced with “porterhouse chops,” “ribeye chops” and “New York chops.” The pork butt, from the shoulder, will be called a “Boston roast.”
New pork names to look for in the meat case include:
· Pork Porterhouse Chop (previously a loin chop)
· Pork Ribeye Chop, bone-in (previously a rib chop center)
· Pork Ribeye Chop (previously a rib chop)
· Pork New York Chop (previously a top loin chop)
When shopping for beef, a boneless shoulder top blade steak will become a flatiron steak, a beef under blade boneless steak will become a Denver Steak. However, ground beef will still be ground beef.
The old labels were based on lists created in the 1970s. They were very anatomical, describing cuts based on their location in the animal, said Trevor Amen, director of market intelligence for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Denver.
“That information remains on the new labels, but it’s second after the new cut name. For example what was once called boneless beef loin top sirloin cubes for kabobs is now simply kabobs.”
A spokesman for the National Chicken Council said no such plans are in place to change the names of chicken cuts. A chicken breast, the official said, will remain a breast.