I still remember this story when it first came out in Time: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983200,00.html
I never heard much about it after that, but just found this on the USDA website: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Meat_&_Poultry_Labeling_Terms/index.asp ===== FRESH POULTRY:
In August, 1995 USDA/FSIS published a rule attempting to modify the definition of "fresh" to refer to poultry whose internal temperature has never been below 26 °F. That rule said poultry whose internal temperature is between 26 °F and 0 °F cannot be called "fresh" but must be called "hard-chilled" or "previously hard chilled." In January, 1996 the final rule was published in the Federal Register. However, Congress did not appropriate money for enforcing the rule. On August 8, 1996, Congress asked FSIS to revise the final rule. FSIS has now amended the poultry product inspection regulations to prohibit the use of the term "fresh" on the labeling of raw poultry products whose internal temperature has ever been below 26 °F. Also, labels of raw poultry products whose temperature has ever been below 26 °F, but above 0 °F, will not be required to bear any specific, descriptive labeling terms, including "hard chilled" or "previously hard chilled." To be in compliance with the revised rule, raw poultry products that are labeled as "fresh" but have ever had an internal temperature below 26 °F will have
to have the "fresh" designation deleted or removed from labeling on the package. The final rule also sets a temperature tolerance for raw poultry products. The temperature of individual packages of raw poultry products labeled "fresh" can vary as much as 1°F below 26 °F within inspected establishments or 2 °F below 26 °F in commerce. This revised final rule appeared in the December 17, 1996, Federal Register and became effective 1 year later – December 17, 1997.
I note that the "chilly" chicken I referred to earlier was neither labeled 'fresh' nor 'frozen'.
<message edited by David_NYC on Tue, 10/5/10 4:52 PM>