DES MOINES, Iowa — Porterhouse steak fans now will have the
difficult decision of choosing whether they want the delicious cut in beef — or
Patrick Fleming, director of retail marketing for the
National Pork Board, noted that the Uniform Retail Meat Identification
Standards, which will turn 40 years old this year, were designed to help clarify
cuts of pork for people working in the back of the house at restaurants, and the
original nomenclature was anatomy-based.
The National Pork Board began efforts a couple years ago to
update the naming system.
Consumers assumed that a pork chop was a pork chop, Fleming
said, because there was no differentiation in the name to tell them that there
actually are several different cuts that make up a chop.
He noted that grocery stores would cut entire loins, put it
all on a tray and sell it cheap because consumers didn’t know that particular
portion of pork had many different cuts, just like a beef loin is where
Porterhouse steak, the strip steak and the T-bone come from.
That is one of the big reasons that the National Pork Board
decided to adopt the beef nomenclature and implement it in the pork market,
“Beef consumers know ribeyes, Porterhouse and T-bone are
better cuts,” he said, which usually are associated with a higher price
A few examples of the new names are the Porterhouse chop and
the ribeye chop. A full list of the new pork nomenclature can be viewed at
From consumer research done prior to the name change,
Fleming noted, the National Pork Board members, along with representatives of
the Beef Checkoff program who were instrumental in the change, were able to
determine that customers were most confused by the common name, such as pork
loin risen chop, appearing first on the package of meat.
To remedy this situation, he said, the new nomenclature will
be the first thing a consumer reads on the label, with the common named moved to
the second line, which still will meet all the necessary packaging and labeling
“Before, consumers didn’t know the difference in chops. Now,
they’ll be able to see and read the difference,” he said.
Fleming added that the update to the URMIS also will enhance
an individual’s eating experience because they will discover they like different
cuts of chops.
The new nomenclature officially was approved at the end of
March, and while it may take a while for retailers to get the new system
implemented in their establishment, the director believes that consumers will
start seeing the newly named cuts of meat grocery stores by early summer — just
in time for grilling season.