AMS seeks input on beef grading standards

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking public comments on possible revisions to the US Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef. The agency is considering revisions to account for recent improvements and trends in animal raising and feeding.

Specifically, AMS is seeking input from cattle producers, food processors and other sources before revising quality grades and yield grades for beef. The agency said significant changes such as grass-fed vs. grain-fed feeding regimens, instrument grading, management, and export requirements have taken place since the current quality grades were adopted in 1997.

AMS adopted the yield grade standard 50 years ago. Changes that have affected beef quality have also affected carcass yield. Official grade made include a quality grade, a yield grade or both, AMS noted.

Additionally, AMS is also requesting input on a review of the agency's program for beef-instrument grading. The American Meat Science Association conducted the program in response to a report issued by USDA's Office of Inspector General.

Comments on revising the Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef and on the beef instrument grading review are due no later than Nov. 13, 2014.
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