INTRODUCTION TO THE TERMINOLOGY OF RED MEATS
SECTION I. INTRODUCTION
Inspection of meat products may be performed at origin or at destination. The
inspection consists of examining and/or testing contractor-owned foods, including the
packaging and packing of the product. These inspections preclude the acceptance of
meat items that are not wholesome, aesthetically acceptable or that are potentially
dangerous to health. These inspections also protect the financial interests of the
government and/or the nonappropriated fund activity by determining contractual
compliance for identity, condition, quality, and quantity as specified by the procuring
ORIGIN ACCEPTANCE INSPECTIONS (CATEGORY I)
This category of inspections is performed at the facilities of the commercial
contractor. In order for you to evaluate carcasses for compliance with contractual
requirements, you must know carcass nomenclature, terminology, and the descriptive
terms used in the red meat industry. Part of your education for performing the duties as
a veterinary food inspection specialist, we also present a brief description of
antemortem and postmortem inspections, though it is understood that you will seldom
have the opportunity to perform these inspections.
a. Antemortem Inspection. This inspection is conducted by physically
examining the live animals before slaughter to detect disease or noxious conditions that
would make them unfit for human consumption. The inspection should be conducted on
the same day as the slaughter. Antemortem inspections are needed because there are
diseases and conditions hazardous to human health that are best detected in live
animals. An example of this would be rabies, a disease that affects the central nervous
system. Antemortem inspections also prevent contamination of the slaughtering area
by diseased animals.
b. Postmortem Inspection. This inspection involves the examination (and
testing when required) of the head, carcass, and viscera of animals immediately after
slaughter to determine if they are free of diseases or noxious conditions that would
make them unfit for human consumption.
c. In-plant Inspections. This is an inspection performed at the establishment
where the meat item is processed, manufactured, or fabricated. Some items are
inspected while they are being processed or manufactured. In some cases, items are
inspected after the manufacturing or processing is complete.