Meat Inspection and Grading
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
Did You Know That Meat Inspection Is A Requirement in The U.S.?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has strict guidelines for inspecting meat. Once approved, it gets a mark (stamp) indicating it has been approved. Usually, you do not see this stamp because the butcher trims it off.
How Meat Inspection Works
The USDA must inspect all meat for public consumption. Processing is at a USDA-approved facility and inspected at every step. The procedure is as follows:
Once beef passes inspection, it can be graded for quality. You should note that this is an optional process and does incur additional expense for a licensed Federal USDA grader. The grader evaluates the beef for eight quality grades: tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. Examples of the top three grades are:
FYI: Grass-finished cows are not Prime Beef because grass-finished beef is leaner, so they do not meet the USDA’s Prime Beef requirements for tenderness, juiciness, and flavor.
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