(4) Foreign material. Foreign material is any extraneous material which
does not organically belong where found, which has been introduced from the outside,
or which does not naturally occur in the quantity found at the location examined. Dirt,
animal hair, slivers of metal or glass, and insects are examples of foreign material.
(5) Deep cuts and scores. Cuts and scores less than 1/2 inch (12.70 mm)
in depth and less than 2 inches (50.8 mm) 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 would interfere with the production of retail cuts
would not be acceptable.
(6) Blood clot. A blood clot is an organized, opaque, coagulated mass on
the surface of fat or muscle tissue.
Section III. WHOLESOMENESS
1-15. INSPECTION LEGEND
a. General. Inspection of all meat and poultry for wholesomeness is mandatory
in CONUS and is paid for out of tax dollars. The Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS), the public health agency in the USDA, performs this inspection; they ensure that
meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.
Inspection and grading are two separate programs.
b. Inspection Legend. This is indicated by the USDA inspection legend (a
round purple stamp) placed directly on the carcass and major cuts or on the marked
end of a sealed container (packing). The mark, stamped on a meat carcass is
comprised of a food-grade vegetable dye and is not harmful. The stamp differs slightly
depending on the product. All inspection legends have a number in the brand or just
outside the brand, that number represents the plant where the meat was processed.
The number references a specific plant that is listed with the establishments name and
address in the USDA Meat and Poultry Inspection Directory. The veterinary food
inspection specialist must verify that the inspection legend is present. Figure 1-3 below
shows examples of the various inspection legends.
Figure 1-3. Inspection legends