USDA Inspected vs. USDA Graded

Many times meat is advertised as USDA Inspected or USDA Graded. There is a difference between the two, however they are both important to the quality of beef you eat at a restaurant or what you serve your family at the dinner table.

Inspection is a mandatory program and ensures all consumers that the meat is wholesome. This is paid for by tax dollars. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), an agency of the USDA, fulfills the need for the inspection of meat. The FSIS makes certain that meat is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. The inspection of meat can either be federally inspected by the FSIS or state inspected by a state’s Department of Agriculture. The FSIS monitors these state inspected programs. With state inspection, the inspected meat can only be sold within the state’s borders.

Here at Ohio Signature Beef we work with both Federally inspected and State inspected facilities so you will always be consuming a wholesome, locally raised cut of Ohio Signature Beef.

Like stated before, there is a difference between USDA Inspected and USDA Graded. USDA Grading is a voluntary service, not required, that is paid for by the party that requests the service. A Federal grader completes the grading of beef and is provided by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The grading of beef is to determine the quality of the meat (Quality Grading), which is determined by evaluating the traits that are related to tenderness, juiciness, and flavor of the meat, as well as the cutability (Yield Grading) of the carcass. The USDA Grades of beef are based upon Federal standards of quality that are uniform across the nation so when a consumer purchases a graded beef product anywhere in the U.S. it will have met the same standards as other beef products with the same grade. As producers of Ohio Signature Beef we see the need to have a consistent product so we go above and beyond the mandated inspection and require all of our beef to be USDA Graded. This is so we can guarantee every time you eat a cut of Ohio Signature Beef you will enjoy a tender and flavorful cut of beef.

Source of Information:
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Inspection_&_Grading/index.asp