Former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, before his departure from office, announced a new USDA requirement intended to improve the safety of raw meat and poultry products. The new rule requires processors to justify any retained water in raw products as an unavoidable consequence of the process they use to meet food safety requirements. Processors will be required to clearly list either the percentage of retained water or the maximum percentage of absorbed water on each product label. Those that demonstrate there is no retained water in their products may choose to not label their product with a retained-water statement, or to make a no-retained-water claim on the product.

The final rule will take effect one year after the Jan. 9, 2001 publication date in the Federal Register.