American Heart Association

When you see the Heart-Check Certification mark on Sara Lee® deli packaging, you’ll instantly know the item has been certified to meet the American Heart Association’s guidelines for a heart-healthy food as part of an overall healthy dietary pattern. To be certified, a product must meet the specific nutritional levels. These levels are based on a single serving size as specified by the FDA for an individual food and per  label serving or 100 grams.

 Sara Lee’s American Heart Association page


Extra Lean

Must contain less than 5g of fat, less than 2g of saturated fat, and less than 95mg of cholesterol per 100g of product and per RACC (55g for lunchmeat).


Gluten Free

Gluten is a stretchy protein that captures carbon dioxide released from yeast, causing breads to rise. For some people, gluten can cause gastrointestinal problems.

The term “gluten” technically refers to a specific complex of proteins that forms when wheat flour is mixed with a liquid and physically manipulated, such as in kneading of bread. In 2007, FDA proposed to allow manufacturers to label a food “gluten-free” to accommodate those people with allergies and intollerances to gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

When preparing gluten free recipes, it is important to read ingredient labels and avoid gluten contamination that may occur if foods are prepared on common surfaces or with utensils that are not thoroughly cleaned after preparation of gluten-containing foods. The best way to know if a product is gluten free is to read the ingredients label. Products that are labeled as wheat free are not necessarily gluten free and all labels checked often, as ingredients can change over time. If you are unsure about a product’s ingredients, contact the food manufacturer for further information. Gluten is a protein naturally found in certain grains such as wheat, barley, rye and some oats. Millions of Americans suffer from a serious medical condition called celiac disease in which consuming even small amounts of gluten in foods can cause digestive health problems. For more information regarding celiac disease or gluten free diets, contact your healthcare team.

Read more at – Why is Gluten bad for me?


Good Source of Protein

Protein must

be at least 10% of the DV and per RACC (55g for lunchmeat). The % DV must be corrected with a protein digestibility score (PDCAAS).



Must contain less than 10g of fat per 100g, 4.5g or less of saturated fat, and less than 95mg of cholesterol per 100g of product and per RACC (55g for lunchmeat).


Low Cholesterol

Less than or equal to 20mg/RACC

(55g for lunchmeat) and less than or equal 2 g saturated fat/RACC (55g for lunchmeat).


Low Saturated Fat

Less than 1g of saturated fat/RACC (55g for lunchmeat) and less than or equal 15% of calories

from sat fat. Sat fat g x 9 = # of calories.


Mechanically Separated Meat / Poultry

Mechanically Separated Meat is a deboned, paste-like meat mixture produced by forcing beef, pork, chicken, or turkey under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.



Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that’s “generally recognized as safe,” the use of MSG remains controversial. For this reason, when MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that it be listed on the label. MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of the adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. These reactions – known as MSG symptom complex – include: headache, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas, rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations), chest pain, nausea, weakness. However, researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms. Researchers acknowledge, though, that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don’t require treatment. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG.


No Added Hormones

Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in pork and poultry. If a claim is to be made it must include the qualifier “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in pork/poultry.” For beef, the term the “no Hormones administered” may be approved for use on the label

of beef products if sufficient documentation is provided to the Agency by the producer showing no HORMONES have been used in raising the animals.


No Antibiotics

Defined by the USDA. The term “no antibiotics added” may be used on labels for meat or poultry products if sufficient documentation is provided to the Agency demonstrating that the animals were raised without antibiotics. Antibiotics are given to animals, such as cattle, hogs, sheep and chickens to prevent or manage diseases. Although the USDA is accountable for proper use of these claims, there is no verification system in place.


No Artificial Color

No artificial colors added – caramel is an artificial color


No Artificial Flavor

Will state on the label ‘artificial flavor’ if it is used in the product


No By-Products

The definition of meat by-products is: pork stomachs, snouts; beef, veal, lamb or goat tripe; beef, veal, lamb, goat or pork hearts; tongues, fat, lips, weasands and spleens; and partially defatted pork fatty tissue, or partially defatted beef fatty tissue.

The definition of poultry by-products is: skin*, fat, gizzard, heart of liver or any combination thereof.

Poultry: Can make claim as long as there is no skin* in/on the product.

Pork and Beef: Requires an ‘*’ with statement “Federal regulations prohibit the use of by-products in pork and beef.”

*the exception of Oven Roasted Turkey Breast which has skin on it in natural proportions


No Fillers

A substance added to a product to increase bulk, weight, viscosity, opacity or strength (modified food starch, carrageenan, etc)



No added MSG or ingredients that have naturally free forming glutamates that occur during the cooking process like “autolyzed yeast” and “hydrolyzed beef stock”.


No Preservatives

No preservatives means there is nothing added that would extend the shelf-life.


Rich / Excellent Source of Protein

Protein must be at least 20 – 30% of the DV and per RACC (55g for lunchmeat). The % DV must be corrected with a protein digestibility score (PDCAAS).


USDA Beef Grades

Assigned by the USDA and determined on the basis of maturity, marbling, color, firmness:

- USDA Prime

- USDA Choice

- USDA Select

- USDA Commercial

- USDA Utility

- USDA Canner

- USDA Cutter