or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › USDA Grading. Explain this Little Wikipedia Sentence to me.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

USDA Grading. Explain this Little Wikipedia Sentence to me.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

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."

post #2 of 7

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". 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

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.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

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.


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.

post #5 of 7

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)

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

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?
 

post #7 of 7

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

 

Quote:
The official standards were amended in July 1939 to provide a single standard for the grading and labeling of steer, heifer, and cow beef according to similar inherent quality characteristics.  The amendment also changed certain grade terms for steer, heifer, and cow beef from “Medium,”“Common,” and “Low Cutter” to “Commercial,” Utility,” and “Canner,” respectively. An amendment in November 1941 made similar changes in the grade terms for bull and stag beef and established the following grade terminology for all beef: Prime, Choice, Good, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner. An amendment in October 1949 eliminated all references to color of fat.
 
In December 1950, the official standards for grades of steer, heifer, and cow beef were amended by combining the Prime and choice grades and designating them as Prime, renaming the Good grade as Choice, and dividing the Commercial grade into two grades by designating the beef produced from young animals included in the top half of the grade as Good while retaining the Commercial grade designation for the remainder of the beef in that grade. Other revisions in the standards for the Prime, Choice, Good, and Commercial grades were made to clarify them and to facilitate their interpretation. Standards for the Utility, Cutter, and Canner grades were not affected. These changes in the standards were a modification of a proposal by the Department to revise the standards in August 1949, and were adopted after careful consideration of comments received in writing over a period of months and those presented orally at a public hearing at Chicago, on June 28, 1950. In June 1956, the official standards for grades for steer, heifer, and cow beef were amended by dividing the Commercial grade into two grades strictly on the basis of maturity with beef produced from young animals being designated as Standard while Commercial was retained as the grade name for beef produced from mature animals. This change, which was suggested by the Cattle and Beef Industry Committee, was identical in principle to that proposed by the Department in August 1949.
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › USDA Grading. Explain this Little Wikipedia Sentence to me.