Harris Teeter, Matthews, N.C., has become what is said to be the first retailer in the country to offer U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified very tender beef, guaranteeing consumers the highest-quality tender eating experience. Harris Teeter will begin labeling its Reserve Angus beef brand with the USDA-certified very tender label beginning April 23.

“Harris Teeter’s meat merchandising team has always been committed to offering its customers the best quality products available, as well as helping them better understand the items sold in its butchers market,” says Danna Jones, communication specialist. “We are going above and beyond the norm to give our shoppers another measure of confidence they deserve when purchasing quality beef products. Our hope is that this label will help eliminate confusion at the meat case.”

Harris Teeter believes that the USDA-certified very tender program will serve as a useful tool for consumers who deem tenderness as a necessary contributor to their beef purchase.

Cargill Meat Solutions, Wichita, Kan., is Harris Teeter’s supplier of its private label Reserve Angus beef, and was the first processor to have its tender program certified by USDA. The 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,” says 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.”