Waitress writing specials on chalkboard
Food - Drink
How Restaurants Are Tricking You With This Labeling Loophole
Eating out can be a great way to enjoy a delicious meal, but you might not be getting exactly what you order thanks to this restaurant labeling loophole.
When it comes to the meat, poultry, and eggs you buy at the grocery store, the USDA is in charge of what labels you might see, from “prime,” to “choice,” or even “organic.”
However, since restaurants are "retailers" and not stores or manufacturers, they’re not held to the same USDA guidelines and can use almost any terms they wish on menus and ads.
When used on menus, these terms can hint at special, high-quality ingredients without actually delivering on them, meaning you might not get what you thought you ordered.
The practice is more common than you might think, and according to chef Tom Colicchio, “When you start really getting into this stuff, there's so many things people mislabel."
The easiest way to tell if you’re being tricked is to use common sense. If your prime steak tastes off, it might be an inferior cut in disguise.