US Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman announced this week a new United States Department of Agriculture (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 their process used to meet food safety requirements. Processors will be required to list clearly either the percentage of retained water or the maximum percentage of absorbedwater on each product label. Those that demonstrate there is no retained water in their products may choose not to label their product with a retained-waterstatement or to make a no-retained-water claim on the product. This final rule takes effect one year after the Jan. 9, 2001, publication date in the Federal Register.