Target Says Label for Meat Imminent
March 20, 2008
to the Associated Press, a Target Corp. official told a congressional
panel recently that Hormel Foods and Cargill are close to putting a
label on meat to let consumers know when it''s been treated with a gas
to make it look fresher.
divisional merchandise manager Danielle Lachman said that federal
officials have approved language that Hormel and Cargill will use on
the packaging. The label will say "Color is not an accurate indicator
of freshness. Refer to use or freeze by" date, Lachman told members of
a House Energy and Commerce investigative subcommittee looking into
The label will go into use as soon as this month, Lachman said.
Foods Corp. and Cargill Inc. use carbon monoxide technology in a joint
venture called Precept Foods to help meat retain its red color.
fall, Target, Cargill and Hormel -- all based in Minnesota -- appeared
before the same subcommittee. The panel''s chairman, Bart Stupak,
D-Mich., opposes the carbon monoxide treatment, arguing its sole
purpose is to fool consumers about the freshness of the product.
that earlier hearing, Target said it was working to add the labels, and
Hormel and Cargill said they''d be willing to add labels if necessary.
said that Precept officials told Target that the Department of
Agriculture''s Food Safety Inspection Service had approved language for
the label; Cargill and Hormel confirmed that account. FSIS officials
had no immediate comment on the approval.
meat industry for years has typically used carbon monoxide in packages
to help meat retain its red color. Although federal officials approved
the practice, consumer advocates say it makes meat look fresh long
after its expiration date.
year, several supermarket chains agreed to stop selling meats packaged
in carbon monoxide after the House panel wrote letters expressing
concern and seeking information.