Cuts Get Meatier Labels

man choosing meat at grocery storeRecently protein powerhouses including the Beef Checkoff, National Pork Board and the USDA announced the redesign of meat labels including the renaming of several cuts to increase consumer knowledge and ease.

The current meat labels were designed 40-years ago with butchers and retailers in mind. While consumers are more interested in their food than ever before, understanding the meat industry’s labels was deemed too difficult through consumer research. Thus the launch of new labels and renaming cuts.

The new labels will have simpler, “common” names that are universal across species. For example, ribeye and T-bone will be used in both beef and pork cuts. More than 350 names of cuts are changing including several cuts of pork are being changed to match the corresponding cuts of beef.

The new labels will also include characteristics of the meat, including a more accurate name and description of where the cut comes from on the animal (ex: pork butt will now be called Boston roast as it actually comes from the shoulder region.) Cooking guidelines will also be included in hopes of encouraging consumers to try new cuts.

Changing Times/Changing Names

  • Boneless shoulder top blade steak –> flat iron steak
  • Beef under blade boneless steak, beef chuck eye edge –> Denver steak
  • Beef rib ribeye lip-on bone in –> ribeye
  • Beef loin tenderloin full boneless –> Tenderloin
  • Beef loin bone in –> Porterhouse steak
  • Pork loin top loin chop –> Porterhouse chop
  • Pork loin rib chop –> ribeye chop
  • Bone-in pork loin chop –> T-bone chop
  • Pork butt –> Boston roast

With summer just around the corner, now is the time to explore the new cut names through taste bud trial on the grill!

–Kassi Williams is a proud farmer’s daughter growing up on a cow/calf and grain farm in Iowa. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University, majoring in both animal science and public relations. She has been involved with agriculture from birth, working in multiple facets of the industry including the USDA and Extension. Kassi relocated to Nebraska in 2010 to work for a marketing communications agency for a multitude of agriculture clients.

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