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Phoenix-Area Grocers Gorge Consumer On Fat Labels

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Phoenix-Area Grocers Gorge Consumer On Fat Labels

Local ABC Station Investigates Beef Food Labels

Beef food labels have been the focus of many governmental efforts lately. Particularly in Canada, where the health minister recently supported measures that would label mechanically tenderized beef.

But a different aspect of beef labels has been put under the microscope recently, after KNXV-TV in Phoenix went undercover to investigate the fat content in ground beef sold by local grocers and how it was reflected in the label. What they found was many supermarkets were intentionally labeling beef with less fat than was actually found in the meat in order to drive up prices.

Less Fat On Food Labels, More Consumers Pay
KNXV-TV bought ground beef with varying amounts of fat on its food labels at four groceries in Phoenix. After sending the beef samples to a laboratory for a fat check, 11 of 24 of the samples were shown to have more fat than the labels indicated. Meaning the grocers were mislabeling fat contents and consumers were paying for it.

The news station also spoke with a butcher who said he was fired for raising concerns about the mislabeling policy.

"What we were doing is taking all of the cuts of the steaks, throwing them in a big grinder, grinding the product through and just putting it in the case," Larry Solberg said. "Chuck could have been round, round could have been chuck. The customers were being misled by what we were selling."