USDA Grading. Explain this Little Wikipedia Sentence to me.

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kuan, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beef  The bold part.

    "Stamping the grades began in May 1927. Each carcass can be stamped with a yield or quality stamp, or a combination of both. The standards have been revised many times since the original standards were formulated. A few notable changes include combining Prime and choice grades into Prime, and changing the Good grade to choice, this change occurred in 1950."
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

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    Here's how I understand it. Let's assume there are 3 levels of marbling we're going to call A (most marbling), B and C (least marbling).

    Before 1950:

    C = "Good"

    B = "Choice"

    A = "Prime"

    After 1950:

    C = "Choice"

    B = "Prime"

    A = "Prime"

    So "Prime" and "Choice" grades (A & B) are combined into "Prime", and  "Good" (C) was changed to "Choice". 
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    OK that makes sense to me now.  Thanks.  And then whatever was below "good" became good, which later on became "select."

    I was also trying to figure out, since there now three Prime and three Choice gradings, (high, med, low) what they used to be before 1950.  I bet even Ed Buchanan doesn't even know this one.
     
  4. jimbo68

    jimbo68

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    I think that Wiki's time line on the changes is incorrect.  I tagged beef for a few years starting in 1965 and at that time there were Prime, Choice, and Good.  The grade was based on quality and yield.  I think it was around 1975 that good disappeared and select came into being.   The standards were changed, and the yield factor was eliminated,

    I'm not 100% sure but I know good was around as long as I worked a packing house.
     
  5. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Rather than speculate, take a look at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/inspection_&_grading/index.asp, which sets forth the grading standards for both quality and yield.

    Quality
    • Prime
    • Choice
    • Select
    • Standard and Commercial (generally sold as ungraded or store brands)
    • Utility, Cutter, & Canner (rarely sold at retail, manly fabricating grades)
    Yield: Graded from 1 (highest yield) to 5 (lowest yield)
     
  6. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I know what it is currently.  I want to know what it was before 1950. 

    in 1950 choice and prime were rolled into one larger Prime category.

    Good became choice.

    Whatever was below good in 1950 became good in 1950.  This category was renamed select sometime later.

    Today there are three prime levels and three choice levels.   I want to know where the pre 1950 choice was on today's scale.  I know it could not have been high prime, but was it med prime, or a combination of medium and low prime, or maybe even medium and low prime PLUS high good?
     
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  7. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    From: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3002979, bottom of page 1