Wholesale Meat Specifications Document

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Beef | Chicken | Lamb | Pork | Turkey | Veal

Introduction

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Wholesale Meat Specifications Document (WMSD) has been developed as a result of a thorough review of the current wholesale meat-cut nomenclature. The CFIA administers the Meat Inspection Act and Meat Inspection Regulations, the Food and Drugs Act and the Food and Drug Regulations, and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, which require that meat cuts, organs and other carcass parts be identified on labels with proper common names.

The information about the meat cut names and their specifications and item numbers contained in this document is identical to that found in the Institutional Purchase Specifications (IMPS) documents developed and maintained by the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Services (USDA-AMS) and the Meat Buyer's Guide, which is developed and maintained by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI).

This document provides industry and consumers with a simple and informative system of nomenclature that will ensure the use of standardized terms in the naming of meat cuts, discourage any misuse of these terms and provide consumers with information to compare prices and select cooking methods.

The names contained in this document were finalized jointly by the CFIA, USDA-AMS and North American industry.

Any names that lead to mistaken identity or to deception are in violation of Articles 5 and/or 6 of the Food and Drugs Act and in the case of prepackaged products of Article 7 of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.

The order of presentation of the names is as follows:

  1. 100 series - Beef
  2. 200 series - Lamb
  3. 300 series - Veal
  4. 400 series - Pork
  5. Poultry and Turkey

Glossary

Anterior
Toward the front of the carcass, or forward of.
Blast Frozen
Products are frozen rapidly at extremely low temperatures (≤ -23° C) in conjunction with high-velocity air movement around the product.
Block Ready
A cut that is marketed ready for further processing or portioning.
BRT
Boned rolled and tied (or netted).
Butterfly
  1. To split cuts and roasts in half, leaving the halves hinged on one edge.
  2. To split chops, cutlets and roasts in half, leaving the halves hinged on one edge.
Carcass
The dressed, harvested animal containing two "sides".
Center Cut
Term used to indicate the interior portion of a cut after removal of outer edges or ends to create a more desirable, uniform portion.
Chain
The side muscle of the tenderloin.
Chilled
A temperature related term generally used to describe "fresh" product.
Chine Bone
A part of the backbone that remains after the carcass is split.
Comminuted
Reduction of meat particle size, using such methods as grinding, dicing and chopping.
Dorsal to
Toward the upper or top line of the carcass away from the navel.
End Cuts
Cuts made from the ends of primal or sub-primal cuts. Ends often lack the uniformity of the adjacent cuts.
Evisceration
The process of removing the internal organs from the carcass during harvest.
Frenched
The process by which the bone is exposed after removing the M. intercostales interni and/or the lean and fat surrounding it to provide a decorative appearance.
Fresh
Refers to meats that have not been canned, cured, smoked, or cooked. In addition to the above, the product must never have been frozen.
Frozen
Refers to meats that have been reduced in temperature to below the freezing temperature of meat (< -2.22° C).
IM
Acronym for Individual Muscle designating that a cut is composed of one muscle only.
IQF
Acronym for Individually Quick Frozen. Refers to cuts that have been individually quick frozen at extremely low temperatures immediately after processing.
Lateral
Away from the median plane that divides the carcass vertically into right and left sides.
Leaf Fat
The fat lining from the abdominal wall in pork
Medial
Towards the median plane that divides the carcass vertically into right and left sides.
Net Weight
Weight of the contents of a container after the weight of the packaging and packing materials has been deducted.
Posterior to
Towards the rear of the carcass, or backward of.
Primal Cuts
Basic major cuts into which carcasses and sides are separated.
PSO
Purchaser Specified Option
Side
One matched half of a lamb / veal/ pork or beef carcass.
Sub-Primal Cuts
Smaller cuts derived from primal cuts.
Ventral
Toward the belly of the carcass away from the upper or top line.

Beef | Chicken | Lamb | Pork | Turkey | Veal

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