Harris Teeter will begin labeling its Reserve Angus beef brand with the USDA Certified Very Tender label in its stores starting this week. The new certification guarantees consumers the highest-quality tender eating experience, the company says.
"We are going above and beyond the norm to give our shoppers another measure of confidence they deserve when purchasing quality beef products," said Danna Jones, communication specialist for Harris Teeter. "Our hope is that this label will help eliminate confusion at the meat case."
The company believes that the USDA Certified Very Tender program will serve as a useful tool for consumers for whom tenderness is a necessary contributor to their beef purchase.
USDA announced the rollout of the label in August, 2013, with the intention of providing customers a "more useful purchasing tool."
The designation is based on a system that determined consumers' perceived thresholds for tender or very tender beef. Based on an objective scale, the system ensures that specific beef cuts consistently meet these established thresholds, USDA said last year.
Cargill Meat Solutions, Harris Teeter's supplier of its private label Reserve Angus Beef, was the first processor to have its tender program certified by USDA and will provide Harris Teeter with the cuts eligible for certification, the company said.
These cuts include Ribeye, Striploin, Shortloin, Tenderloin and Top Blade.
"Tenderness claims have been around for quite some time but with that claim being certified by the USDA, consumers can trust that it's the truth," said Glen Dolezal, assistant vice president of business development and communication for Cargill Meat Solutions. "Under this program, our processes and standards pass several audits; including tenderness shear-force testing that meets the strict USDA Certified Very Tender standards."
Harris Teeter says it is currently training its meat market associates on the USDA Certified Very Tender program.
Source: Harris Teeter