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© 2005, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


There are two types of beef grades in the United States--quality grades and yield grades. Beef carcasses may carry a quality grade, a yield grade or both a quality and yield grade.

Quality grades indicate expected palatability or eating satisfaction of the meat; yield grades are estimates of the percentage of boneless, closely trimmed retail cuts from the round, Join, rib and chuck.

Federal meat grading is a voluntary service packers request and pay for on an hourly fee basis. Meat grading should not be confused with meat inspection, which is mandatory and ensures the safety and wholesomeness of our meat supply.