Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jul 17, 2013 03:08 PM

Ground beef label explanation?

What does it mean when the label says the product inside is from three different countries (actually, continents)?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. From one of the 3 places of provenance.

    1. Could be from all 3 places, or 2 or 1. Sounds like a freakin' McDonald's hamburger.

      6 Replies
        1. re: Frosty Melon

          Note to self: Don't buy ground beef at TJ's.

          1. re: linguafood

            Further note to self: buy ground beef from farmers market.

            1. re: monavano

              Eh. I've had some pretty shitty ground beef from a farmers market before.

            2. re: linguafood

              I've bought that meat without complaint or problem The source(s) does not bother me.

        2. USDA has a new regulation requiring "Country of Origin" labelling -- e.g. see

          As explained in the article at the link above, if an animal is, for example, born in Uruguay, raised in Mexico, finished in USA they would have to label with all three countries.

          I think it's another regulation that will increase consumer cost without adding anything useful. There must be some kind of Law of Conservation of Bureaucracy -- and as the Soviet Union was dismantled, the US government has imposed more and more red tape.

          OTOH, in the specific example in the original post, I suspect the vendor gets meat from these three countries... and rather than incur the cost of labeling each package with its specific source country, they're listing all three countries on the label -- with the idea that if a consumer has a problem with any of the three then he/she is welcome to go buy meat elsewhere (and that loss will cost the vendor less than trying to adjust labels for each country of origin).