(2) Spotter beef. Spotter beef or agonal hemorrhages are normally seen in
feedlot cattle and not in range or dairy cattle. The cause is not known, but could be
from several factors. It is believed that the capillaries rupture during the agony of violent
death. There will be blood spots in the muscle tissue, they are most commonly found in
the eye of the loin (visible after ribbing).
(3) Fired beef. The peripheral capillaries have not drained when bled. This
can be caused by undue excitement or overheating just prior to slaughter. Red streaks
or areas are apparent on the external surface of the dressed carcass.
(4) Sore or scar. Cattle grubs migrate to the back of the bovine and settle
just under the skin to develop from one intermediate stage into another. If you observe
an active site, it is termed a sore and is a small, whitish, water spot in the eye of the
loin/rib. If it is an old, inactive site filled with scar tissue, it is termed a scar. Of course,
there are many other causes of scar tissue.
(5) Blistering. When beef carcasses are crowded into a cooler so that they
are touching, a bleached, slimy area appears at the points of contact, this occurs
because of a lack of proper cooling due to impaired air circulation.
(6) Pale, soft, and exudative. Pale, soft, and exudative (PSE) is a common
color change results from the porcine stress syndrome (PSS), where animals with
genetic susceptibility to stress react adversely to shipping and handling before
slaughter. This condition results in low eating quality though it is wholesome. The color
is a very pale washed-out pink, which quickly turns gray or even greenish-gray in the
retail display. These cuts will also be soft and will lose excessive amounts of water from
the muscle; which causes watery exudates to form puddles on and around the cut. The
PSS condition can also result in a dark muscle color; the product is dark, firm, and dry
(DFD) and the pork muscle is dark red in color. DFD is less common than the pale
color of PSE.
(7) Bruises. Bruises are the result of blood infiltrating an area of meat. The
type of tissue and degree of infiltration determines whether a bruise is a major or minor
defect. Superficial bruises are minor unless they are on the better cuts. All bruises are
objectionable because they support the growth of harmful microorganisms and are not
aesthetically acceptable. A bruise is evidenced by darkened flesh.
(8) Deep cut or score. Cuts and scores less than 1/2 inch in depth and less
than 2 inches in length are usually not considered. A deep cut or score that is in a
major wholesale cut and penetrates the lean from the original lean surface in such a
manner that it will interfere with the production of retail cuts will not be acceptable.
e. Off-Condition Examples. With the passage of time and/or improper holding
temperatures, the microorganisms naturally present on the surface of a carcass begin to
multiply and cause the following conditions.