How is pork graded?
There is a grading system for pork, however, it is
only at the processing level. The whole hogs are graded as a
Number One, Number Two, Number Three, etc., each representing a
different quality level.
fresh pork varies greatly. Quality can be evaluated by visual appraisal,
or it can be determined more accurately by scientific tests. Normally
the lighter the color the better the quality.
also preimum pork program available with many packers. Color and
Marbling Standards cards are also available from the packer.
inspection is mandatory, its grading for quality is voluntary, and a
plant pays to have its pork graded. USDA grades for pork reflect only
two levels: "Acceptable" grade and "Utility" grade. Pork sold as
Acceptable quality pork is the only fresh pork sold in supermarkets. It
should have a high proportion of lean meat to fat and bone. Pork graded
as Utility is mainly used in processed products and is not available in
supermarkets for consumers to purchase.
hogs are cut up and processed there is no grading
All pork processed for resale is either USDA inspected
for wholesomeness or inspected by state systems which have standards
equal to the USDA. Each animal and its internal organs are
inspected for signs of disease. The "Passed and Inspected by USDA" seal
insures the pork is wholesome and free from disease.