The 5 different categories of The Meat Classification System


• Age Determination,
• Fat Content Determination,
• Conformation,
• Damage, and
• The Marking of male animals




Thus far, we have discussed the first 3 mentioned categories.

This time, we will discuss the last two categories .

The first discussion will be the damage of carcasses

The damage of carcasses happens from time to time when live animals are transported to the abattoir and the bumping is too much during the trip.

With this in mind, bruising occurs and needs to be cut off by the Meat Inspectors, ensuring that the consumer gets at all time, healthy meat without any bruising and / or any other type of damage, for instance when live animals are injected to prevent certain diseases, like foot & mouth disease, brucellosis, etc. These sections are to be cut away as well, especially when it was done shortly before slaughtering.

There are 3 codes of damage which can be used during the classification of carcasses that have damage on them –

• When you use code number 1 – it means per definition that the damage is very slight
• When you use code number 2 – it means per definition that the damage is moderate
• When you use code number 3 – it means per definition that the damage is severe.


With damage codes on carcasses, it enables the buyer of such carcasses to decide if he wants to buy such carcasses, and if so, what is he prepared to pay less per kilogram than the normal going rate , depending on the damage code and where the damage occurs on the carcass (on which specific primal cuts).

The second discussion today is the marking of male animals –

The marking of male animals is indicated by a stamp with the wording ‘MD’ on it, in a black ink.
In the case of beef and small stock, only animals in the age group AB, B and C get marked with a MD stamp.

In the case of pork, all male animals get marked with a MD stamp.

The marking of male animals is also a downgrading on the specific carcasses and has to do with the possible taste of the meat, the colour of the meat (it can be darker), and the smell of the meat, which occurs very seldom.

The buyer of these carcasses will normally pay less than the normal price for these carcasses, due to the above reasons.

These carcasses are also normally used in sausages, mince and processed meats, which ensures that the above-mentioned possibilities normally disappear.



Source – SAMIC



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