Specifications

When buying meat, you must indicate the following specifications:

Include IMPS/NAMPS number,if applicable. Example: 173 Beef Short Loin,Regular

Example: U.S. Choice

(You may also want to specify division of grade, such as the upper half or lower half of U.S.Choice.)

3. Weight range for roasts and large cuts.

Portion weight or thickness (not both) for steaks and chops.

4. State of refrigeration: chilled or frozen.

5. Fat limitations, or average thickness of surface fat.

Example: /4 inch average, 1 inch maximum. (This does not apply to veal.)

Meat purchasers may also have to make the choice of whether or not to purchase irradiated meat. Irradiation is the process of exposing foods to radiation in order to kill bacteria, parasites, and other potentially harmful organisms. Irradiation does not harm the meat, make it radioactive, or change its structure, flavor, or nutritional value. Foods that have been treated with radiation must be labeled as such. In the United States, for example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that irradiated foods include labeling with either the statement "treated with radiation" or "treated by irradiation" and the international symbol for irradiation, the radura, shown on this page.

Some operators refuse to purchase irradiated foods because they or their customers may have concerns about their health effects.The procedure has generated much controversy for other reasons as well. For example, some see the availability of the process as an excuse to avoid normal sanitation procedures. Nevertheless, there is so far no evidence that these foods are harmful for human beings to eat.

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