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a slaughterhouse.
  • Bone in - Bn-in;
  • Boneless - Bnls;
  • Center Cut - Cntr Cut;
  • Cover - Cov;
  • Deckle - Dkle;
  • Defatted - Dfatd;
  • Diamond - Dia;
  • Divided - Div;
  • Extra - Ex;
  • Ground - Grnd;
  • Intermediate - Inter;
  • Neck-off - Nk-off;
  • Not to exceed - NTE;
  • Oven-Prepared - Oven-Prep;
  • Partially - Part;
  • Peeled - Pld;
  • Porterhouse - Prthse;
  • Portion - Portn;
  • Regular - Reg;
  • Roast-Ready - Rst-Rdy;
  • Roast - Rst;
  • Round - Rnd;
  • Short-Cut - Sh-Cut;
  • Shoulder - Shld;
  • Sirloin - Sirln;
  • Skinned - Sknd;
  • Special - Sp;
  • Square-Cut - Sq-Cut;
  • Steak - Stk;
  • Streamlined - Strmlnd;
  • Tenderloin - Tender;
  • Triangle Tip - Tri Tip;
  • Trimmed - Trmd;
  • Untrimmed - Untrmd
  • Abdomen
    (1) the part of an animal's body between the thorax and the pelvis; (2) abdominal cavity; (3) the belly.
    of, in, on, or for the abdomen.
    Abdominal Tunic
    the heavy sheet of connective tissue between the flank muscles.
    movement of the part away from the midline.
    (1) capable of or worthy of being accepted; (2) satisfactory.
    Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)
    the maximum number of defects per hundred units (DHU) acceptable as a process average.
    Acceptance Number (Ac)
    the number in a sampling plan that indicates the maximum allowable defects permitted in the sample in order to consider the lot as meeting a specific requirement.
    (1) the hip joint socket; (2) the cavity in the hip into which the distal end of the femur fits. Click Here
    Achilles Tendon
    heavy connective tissue, which extends from the gastrocnemius, superficial digital flexor, biceps femoris, and semitendinosus muscles into the hock. It is commonly called the gambrel cord.
    a muscle protein.
    any material other than meat or meat byproducts that is added to a meat food product.
    movement of the part toward the midline.
    Adipose Tissue
    the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, or any officer or employee of the Agricultural Marketing Service to whom authority has heretofore been delegated or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his or her stead.
    microorganisms which live, grow, and reproduce in the presence of oxygen. Aerobes are the microorganisms which cause meat spoilage. They usually attack only exposed muscle tissue or tissue near the cut surface. Therefore, since it has more surface area, ground meat is more susceptible to aerobes than primal cuts.
    (1) changing meat flavor and tenderness by holding it under controlled conditions - permitting enzymatic activity to degrade the complex proteins; (2) ripening.
    Aitch Bone
    the split portion of the pubis.


    toward the front of the body, or forward, sometimes known as "cranial", meaning toward the head, the opposite of posterior.


    a fibrous sheet or expanded tendon, giving attachment to muscular fibers and serving as the means of origin or insertion of a flat muscle; it sometimes also performs the office of a fascia for other muscles.
    Artificial Casing
    a synthetic casing into which sausage is stuffed. It may be inedible (e.g., bologna casing) or edible (e.g., breakfast link casing).
    Artificial Coloring
    a synthetic dye impregnated into casings to color the outer surfaces of formed sausages.


    attaches the dorsal muscles to the spinous processes. (See Ligamentum nuchae)
    the most diverse group of one-celled microorganisms which affect food. They cause many of the foreign odors associated with meat. However, not all bacteria are harmful, some help in the fermentation process in sausage production.
    Ball Of Femur
    the round proximal end of the femur which fits into the hip socket.
    Ball Tip
    a common name for IMPS Item No. 185B - Beef Loin, Bottom Sirloin Butt Ball Tip, Boneless. Photo
    Bar Code
    a computer scannable product identification code.
    a common name for the fat covering a carcass or cut.
    Beaded Can
    a can that is reinforced by ribs or concentric depressions around the can body.
    (1) bovine; (2) the meat from bovine. The classes of beef are: Steer, Bullock, Bull, Heifer, and Cow.
    Beef primal cuts
    square cut chuck, rib, short loin, sirloin, round, foreshank, brisket, plate, and flank.
    Beef Wholesale Cuts
    include the square Cut Chuck, Rib, Short Loin, Sirloin, Round, Foreshank, Brisket, Plate, and Flank.
    Biceps Femoris
    a major muscle in beef bottom rounds and pork hams. This muscle begins in the hip region and terminates in the hind hock of pork and the hind shank of beef. Click Here
    Bill of Lading
    a receipt for goods accepted for transportation.
    substances which bind materials in sausage emulsions, such as, gelatinous muscle tissue, cereal flours, dried skim milk, etc.
    Blade Meat
    see IMPS Item No. 109B - Beef Rib, Blade Meat. Click Here
    see scapula.
    Blast Freezer
    a room maintained at 0 to -40 F with rapid air movement to quickly freeze product.
    Blast Tunnel
    a tunnel in which high velocity, very low temperature air rapidly freezes product.
    the oxygenation process meat undergoes when exposed to air. Note: It is particularly important in the beef grading process and condition examination of previously vacuum-packed product.
    Bob Veal
    an immature veal calf, usually under 21 days of age.
    the sides of a can; usually the largest part.
    dense and hard tissue forming the framework of the body; the skeleton. Bones serve as attachment points for skeletal muscles, and in the live animal they act as muscle levers.
    thin bovine (usually cow) carcasses-they are usually boned for processing into ground beef or sausage items.
    Bottom Seal
    the double seamed can end which the can manufacturer applies.
    of or belonging to the genus of cattle.
    Box Maker's Certificate
    a statement printed on a box which identifies the box maker and guarantees compliance with applicable regulations.
    Box Style
    the box design; i.e., regular slotted container (RSC), five panel folder (FPF), etc.
    Boxed Meat
    meat which has been cut into primals or subprimals vacuum-packed, and placed in cartons.
    a muscle which extends the shoulder and flexes the neck, It originates at the head and ends at the humerus. Click Here
    reduce a carcass to primal cuts.
    bovine carcasses (usually cow) which possess enough quality and muscling to be fabricated.
    a method of measuring fat in a natural depression of a muscle. Only the fat above the portions of the depression which is more than 3/4 inch (19 mm) in width is considered.
    the chest in the live cattle; a beef cut which is ventral to the Square Cut Chuck and anterior to the Short Plate. The deep pectoral is the major muscle in the brisket.
    boned, rolled and tied (or netted).
    a can defect which causes permanent distortion of the end. It is caused by excessive pressure during processing.
    (1) a live uncastrated male bovine; (2) a male bovine carcass in the B or older skeletal maturity group which exhibits masculine secondary sex characteristics.
    an uncastrated or latently castrated male bovine. In the carcass it is difficult to determine if the animal was an intact male at the time of slaughter. So, the secondary sex characteristics are used to differentiate between steers and bullocks. Bullocks must be in the A skeletal maturity group, otherwise, they are classified as bulls.
    a pouch-like cavity or sac, usually found in the joints.
    Bursting Strength
    the strength of material in pounds per square inch, as measured by the Cady or Mullen tester.
    Butcher's Heart
    see IMPS Item No. 185b - Beef Loin, Bottom Sirloin Butt Ball Tip, Boneless.
    the soft white cartilaginous tips on the dorsal end of the spinous processes (featherbones) of younger animals. Mineral is deposited in the buttons as the animals grow older, causing the cartilage to become calcified.


    the process by which organic tissues become hardened by a deposit of calcium salts.
    tissue hardened by a deposition of calcium salts.
    Calcified (scratchy) Periosteum
    calcified periosteum which is rough.
    a young prepuberty bovine of either sex, The lean meat is usually grayish red to moderately red in color.
    Can Size
    the width x the depth of cans; i.e., 311 x 401 can is 3 11/16 inches wide by 4 1/16 inches deep. The first number is expressed in inches; the last two digits are expressed in sixteenths of an inch.
    Cannon Bone
    the long bone between the knee or hock and the foot.
    Cap Meat
    see IMPS Item No. 109B - Beef Rib, Blade Meat.
    Cap Muscle
    a common term whose meaning differs from one region of the country to another. (1) gracilis muscle; (2) biceps femoris; (3) gluteus medius; or (4) tensor facia latae.
    the prepared or dressed body of any porcine, ovine, or bovine intended for human food. Carcasses are comprised of two sides. Note: Beef and pork carcasses are usually split into sides, but ovine, veal and calf carcasses may or may not be split.
    a specialized fibrous, elastic, or hyaline connective tissue found in the carcass. It is normally found on the ends of bones and more frequently in carcasses of young animals. Cartilage ossifies as animals mature, thereby making it an important consideration when determining a carcass' skeletal maturity.
    Cartilaginous Juncture
    junction of the first rib and anterior extremity of the sternum.
    natural or synthetic tubular sausage products container.
    a common name for the supraspinatus. Other common names include the chuck tender, mock tender, scotch tender, etc.
    (1) posterior; (2) toward, or near the tail.
    Caul Fat
    an industry term for fat that is deposited across the peritoneum which surrounds the stomach and abdominal visceral organs. This fat looks like lace.
    Cellar Trim
    the lean and fat which overlies the bladebone of a pork shoulder, boston butt, boneless.
    of, toward, or pertaining to, the neck.
    Cervical Vertebrae
    neck bones or vertebrae. Click Here
    Channel Fat
    adipose tissue located on the ventral side of thoracic vertebrae of beef chucks, beef ribs, and pork loins.
    Chest Cavity
    the thoracic cavity.
    any officer or employee of the Branch to whom authority has been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his/her stead.
    Chine Bones
    the split vertebrae, resulting from the longitudinal division of the carcass into sides.

    Click Here

    a meat or meat food product in a casing.
    Chuck Cover
    common name for the trapezius muscle of the chuck.
    Chuck Tender
    supraspinatus muscle. Commonly called mock tender, scotch tender, catfish, etc.
    Chunked and Formed
    a meat product consisting of formed meat chunks. The meat chunks are usually made by grinding or dicing, and then massaged (tumbled) prior to forming.
    (1) a product subdivision based on essential physical characteristics that differentiate between major groups of the same species; (2) a box variety; domestic, weather resistant, etc.
    Closed Side
    the right side of a beef carcass, The kidney and kidney knob fat are closely attached to the side.
    of, or pertaining to, the vertebrae of the tail.
    Coccygeal Vertebrae
    tail vertebrae. Click Here
    Cod Fat
    fat in the scrotum of steers. In the carcass, the fat is rough and irregular.


    the main protein in skin, bone, cartilage, and connective tissue.
    Combination Rollers
    devices containing both quality and yield grade inserts.
    reduction of meat particle size; usually by grinding, dicing, or chopping.
    a muscle which helps raise the head. It begins at the skull, extends medial to the splenius, and ends posterior to the scapula. Click Here
    products or ingredients which FSIS has declared unfit for human consumption.
    Connective Tissue
    a fibrous tissue that supports and connects other tissues of an animal body.
    Corned Beef
    salted cured beef, with or without the addition of flavoring or spices.
    Costal Cartilage
    cartilage that attaches the distal end of the rib to the sternum. Click Here
    the end panel of a can. It may be called the top, lid, packer's end, or canner's end.
    a female bovine that has given birth to at least one calf. The delivery of the calf causes the pelvic cavity to get larger and the aitch bone to be straighter than the pelvic cavities and aitch bones of heifers. The udders are normally removed from cow carcasses.
    toward the head or front.
    Cross Rib Roast
    a cut from the arm portion of the beef chuck which contains the 3rd, 4th, and 5th ribs.
    Cryogenic Freezing
    a refrigeration system which uses condensed gases such as liquid nitrogen and liquid carbon dioxide as the refrigerant. It is the fastest method of freezing meat.
    Cubed Meat
    meat which has been tenderized by a machine with two sets of sharp pointed discs which score or cut the product without tearing.
    an industry term for the biceps femoris portion of the top sirloin butt.
    meat products which have been infused with solutions to enhance flavor, color, and to preserve the product's shelf life.
    a specific segment of meat.
    Cutaneous Muscle
    see cutaneous trunci.
    Cutaneous Trunci
    or cutaneous muscle is a relatively thin muscle near the skin in the live animal. It begins on the shoulder and ends in the flank where it is much thicker. The cutaneous trunci on the beef shoulder is commonly called the Shoulder Rose. The flank portion is commonly called Elephant Ears. Click Here


    Dark Cutter
    a beef carcass which exhibits a dull, darker than normal ribeye. The degrees of dark cutting ranges from that which is barely noticeable to black. It may be caused by subjecting cattle to extreme or sustained stress prior to slaughter.
    the coarse strip of lean and fat located between the rib bones and deep pectoral.
    (1) away from the surface; (2) internal; (3) close to the center of gravity; (4) near the center of an extremity or cut.
    Deep (profundus)
    away from the surface.
    Deep Pectoral
    the major muscle in the brisket. It also extends into the short plate and to the shoulder joint (juncture of the humerus and scapula) in the chuck. Click Here
    any nonconformance of a sample with specified requirements.
    Defect Classifications
    the terms used to denote the severity of a defect.
    sample with one or more defects.
    the large sheet of muscle and facia that separates the thoracic (chest) and abdominal (belly) cavities. This muscle may be commonly called the "outside skirt." Click Here
    a machine that cuts meat into relatively uniform sized cubes.
    the Director of the Division, or any officer or employee of the Division to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated to act in his or her stead.
    (1) Farthest from the center, point of attachment or orgin; (2) terminal. This term usually applies to the limbs e.g. the foreshank is distal to the elbow.
    (1) of, on, near, or toward the back; (2) the opposite of ventral.
    Double Sampling
    a sampling scheme that involves using two independently drawn but related samples, a first sample and a second sample, if needed, which is added to the first to form a total sample size. The first sample must be inspected first, and if possible, a decision must be made to either accept or reject the lot. If a decision cannot be made on the first sample, a second sample is inspected; the decision to accept or reject is based on the total sample size.
    Double Seam
    a can's closure formed by interlocking and compressing the end and body.
    Drained Weight
    the weight of the product and nutritious media; water, other non-nutritious media, packaging and packing materials are excluded.
    Dried Meat
    substantially dehydrated fresh or cured meat. The product may be dehydrated with or without the application of heat.


    E. coli
    a mesophilic microorganism which is sometimes contained in fecal material. Meat containing e. coli can cause serious health problems if it is not thoroughly cooked.
    Edgewise Compression Test (E.C.T.)
    a measure of the edgewise strength of corrugated fiberboard.
    any material which is safe for human consumption.
    Edible By-Products
    the properly cleaned and prepared brain, tongue, thymus gland (beef and veal sweetbreads), heart, rumen and reticulum, large intestines of swine, liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, testicles (fries), and pork stomachs. Also called variety meats and edible offal.
    Edible Offal
    see edible by-products.


    Elbow Joint
    the juncture of the distal end of the humerus and the proximal ends of the radius and the ulna.
    Elephant Ears
    a common term for the cutaneus muscle which covers the beef flank.
    the semifluid mixture of chopped meat, water, spices, and curing agents prior to processing into sausage products. This mixture is usually stuffed into casings or molds.
    inside a capsule, walled off, or set apart by a membrane.
    a projection from a long bone near the articular extremity above or upon the condyle.
    Epiphyseal Cartilage
    the layer of cartilage which separates mature bone from immature bone; the only area in which a bone can grow in length. Note: This separation is especially important in distinguishing ovine maturity. As the foreshank ossifies, the break joints become spool joints.
    Epiphyseal Plate
    see epiphyseal cartilage.
    Establishment Number
    see inspection legend.
    an additive other than meat which increases weight of sausage products, e.g., cereal, flour, NFDM, etc. Binders are also extenders.
    straightening of the limbs and vertebral column.
    a muscle that extends or straightens a limb, the antagonist of flexor.
    a mechanical device that pushes product through a tube.


    a food item fashioned or constructed from one or more pieces.
    Fabricated Cuts
    bone-in or boneless cuts made from primal and subprimal cuts.
    fashioning or constructing one or more pieces of meat into an end or intermediate meat product; i.e., cutting meat into wholesale or retail cuts, dicing, grinding, etc.
    Factory End
    (1) the bottom of a can; (2) sometimes called the manufacturer's end.
    False Seam
    a can's double seam formed by the lid and body interlock.
    a sheet of connective tissue.
    the sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue that forms an envelope for muscles or organs.
    Fat Cap
    fat on the surface of sausages or canned meat products.
    Feather Bones
    a common name for the split dorsal processes of the thoracic vertebrae - they resemble feathers. (See spinal processes.) Click Here
    fat deposits that lie beneath the pleura and between the intercostal muscle bundles.
    of, arising from, or pertaining to the femur.
    common name for the thigh bone. The proximal end of the femur is attached to the pelvis and the distal end joins with the patella to form the stifle joint. (See Figure 1.) Click Here
    the long thin bone that lies along the lateral surface of the tibia. Click Here
    Filet Mignon
    a beef tenderloin steak.
    boneless portions of meat.
    Financially Interested Persons
    any person having a financial interest in the products involved, including but not limited to the shipper, receiver, producer, seller, buyer, or carrier of the products.
    Finger Bones
    a common name for the split dorsal processes of the lumbar vertebrae - they look like fingers. (See transverse spinous processes and spinous processes and Figure 1.)
    Finger Meat
    the intercostal meat, commonly called rib fingers, or finger trimmings.
    Finger Trimmings
    (1) the strips of meat (intercostal muscle) between the ribs; (2) finger meat.
    the amount of fat the animal had at the time of slaughter.
    the lip on the open end of a can body.
    a common name for the obliquus abdominis internus of IMPS 185A.
    a common name for the biceps femoris in the outside round and the deep pectoral in the brisket.
    Flexible Container
    a receptacle which can change shape to conform to internal and external pressures. They are usually made from laminated sheets of plastic.
    bending of the limbs at the joints, and bending of the vertebral column.
    a can which has an abnormal convex end due to internal gas or fluid pressure. The ends of such cans bulge when struck sharply on the opposite end. They may also be called swellers or springers.
    a wave of fiberboard encased in two straight exterior walls of fiberboard. They can be viewed in the cut edges of the corrugated containers.
    Foreign Material
    usually refers to glass, dirt, insect parts, hair, wood, metal. Note: If you find foreign material in product, contact MPIO. Determination of acceptability of product which contains foreign material shall be made by MPIO employees.
    the anterior portion of a beef side. It is separated from the posterior end (hindquarter) between the 12th and 13th ribs.
    the unsplit front or anterior portion of ovine, veal and calf carcasses.
    the distal portion of the front leg, including the radius, ulna, and the distal end of the humerus with their covering muscle and connective tissues. It corresponds to the human forearm.
    Formula-Fed Veal
    young bovine which exhibits lighter colored meat than normal for its maturity as a result of being maintained on a special feed. They are sometimes called Special-Fed Veal.
    A depression usually longitudinal in shape below the level of the surface of a part.
    Four-way Pallet
    a pallet constructed so that it can be lifted from any side.
    Freezer Burn
    a deteriorative change of frozen meat caused by dehydration. Freezer burned meat is light-colored, and fats may exhibit oxidative rancidity.
    Fresh Chilled
    uncured or unpreserved meat products from which the body heat was quickly removed, lowering tissue temperatures to a 30 - 40 degree F range.
    Fresh Frozen
    frozen, uncured meat.
    Fresh Meat
    meats which have not been cured or frozen.
    (1) the face, first, or most anterior part; (2) beef forequarters; (3) unsplit lamb, veal or calf foresaddles; (4) the opposite of hind.
    Frontal Plane
    divides the body into dorsal (upper) and ventral (lower) portions along the long axis of the body.
    according to IMPS, meat reduced to 0 degree F (-17.8 degree C) or below. Industry considers meat which is 28 degree F or less as frozen.
    an acronym for Food Safety Inspection Service.


    a muscle found in the hindshank. It begins at the distal end of the femur and ends at the hock joint where it attaches to a tendon. Click Here
    a tasteless, odorless protein obtained by the partial hydrolysis of collagen derived from the skin, white connective tissue and bones of animals. It is used as an emulsifying agent in many food products.
    a mixture, usually gelatin, sugar or starch (seasoned or flavored) that is applied to the surface of a cooked ham and firmed or congealed by direct heat.
    Gluteus Medius
    (1) commonly called the "jump muscle" in live bovine. It extends from the hip to the femur; (2) a major muscle in the anterior end of the ham and the posterior end of the pork loin; (3) where humans get injections in the hip; (4) a major muscle in the beef sirloin butt. Click Here
    a wheeled metal box hand truck used to transport product.
    a muscle in the top round, which is posterior to the aitch bone. It extends from the pelvis to the tibia. Click Here
    Gracilis Membrane
    the white fibrous tissue that covers the semimembranosus muscle - it is posterior to the aitch bone. The gracilis membrane is commonly referred to as the "cap."
    (1) as a noun, this term means an important commercial subdivision of a product, based on certain definite and preference determining factors, such as, but not limited to finish, conformation, and quality in meats; (2) as a verb, this term means to determine the class, grade, or other quality of a product according to applicable standards for meat products; (3) the bursting strength of fiberboard containers; e.g. 200, 275, etc.
    Grain-fed Cattle
    bovine that were fed grain for an extended period of time prior to slaughter.
    Grass-fed Cattle
    bovine that were fed grass or roughage and little grain or concentrate prior to slaughter.
    Green Meat
    fresh, uncured meat, including the weight of the meat prior to trimming or pumping.
    Green Weight
    the weight of product prior to pumping or processing.
    cartilage or tough fibrous connective tissue.
    Gross Weight
    the weight of product plus its packaging, packing, closure materials, and shipping container.


    Half Moon
    a common term for the pectorales profundi.
    Hanging Tender
    the thick muscle dorsal attachments of the diaphragm. It begins in the lumbar and extends to the posterior end of the thoracic cavity in beef - it is ventral to the chine bone. The hanging tender is commonly called the pillar.
    Heart Bread
    a common name for the portion of the beef thymus gland located inside the thoracic cavity. (See sweetbread.)
    Heart Cap
    the stumps of the major vessels, the auricles and the attached fat at the base of an untrimmed heart.
    Heart Fat
    the fat in the anterior end of the thoracic cavity.
    the tough fibrous group of small muscles adjacent to the femur in the lower portion of the outside round. The heel is commonly referred to as the "mouse," rat, or horseshoe. It contains the gastrocnemius and superficial digital flexor muscles.
    a female bovine that has not calved. Heifer carcasses exhibit slightly bent aitch bones, narrow pelvic cavities, and smooth udder fat, if present. Heifer and steer carcasses are not segregated for grading purposes.
    the posterior end of a beef side. It is separated from the anterior end (forequarter) by cutting the side between the 12th and 13th ribs. The beef hindquarter contains the full loin, flank, and round.
    the unsplit posterior hind half of an ovine, veal, or calf carcass.
    the distal portion of the hind leg, including the tibia, fibula, their covering muscle, and connective tissues. The hindshank corresponds to the human shin. Note: In bovine and ovine carcasses the tibia and fibula may be fused, making it difficult to distinguish two separate bones.
    (1) the sirloin portion of the hindquarter; (2) commonly called the "Loin End". (See Item Nos. 181 - Beef Loin, Sirloin and 182 - Beef Loin, Sirloin Butt, Boneless.)
    Hock Joint
    the joint between the distal end of the tibia and the proximal end of the metatarsus. It corresponds to the human heel.
    Honeycomb Tripe
    a common name for the reticulum.
    Hot fat trim
    a method of removing adipose tissue. The process is usually performed prior to carcass refrigeration.
    an acronym for hotels, restaurants, and institutions.
    the long bone of the upper forelimb, extending from the shoulder joint to the elbow joint. Commonly called the "arm bone," the humerus corresponds to the upper arm in humans. Click Here


    (1) the anterior end of the pelvis; (2) commonly called the "pin bone" or "hip bone." Click Here
    Immediate Container
    the container or material that is in direct contact with the enclosed product.
    before in relation to another structure.
    a muscle which abducts and flexes the shoulder. It begins along the ridge of the scapula and ends at the humerus. Click Here
    food or drink taken into the stomach.
    the introduction of any curing solutions into the muscles by injection, stitching, or pumping; also known as "pumped."
    Inspection Legend
    the establishment number, official mark, or statement authorized by FSIS regulations, which is placed on a product or product container indicating that the product has been inspected and passed for use as human food.
    situated, positioned, or attached between the ribs. Intercostales interni - Intercostales externi
    Intercostal Muscle
    (1) muscle tissue which is located between the ribs; (2) intercostal meat or "rib fingers."
    an acronym for individually quick-frozen cuts, individually frozen at very low temperatures immediately after processing.


    (1) boneless diced meat that is normally placed on skewers along with vegetables and grilled; (2) commonly referred to as brochette or cube meat.
    Kidney Knob
    the kidney and surrounding fat - it is located in the dorsal side of the lumbar cavity. The kidney knob is ventral to the lumbar vertebrae.
    (1) an unborn calf that is delivered on the kill floor; (2) a bundle of unprocessed calf hides; (3) an unprocessed calf hide.
    fit to be eaten or used, according to Hebraic or Talmudic dietary or ceremonial law.
    KPH Fat
    (1) the acronym for kidney, heart and pelvic fat; (2) it is found in a carcass' lumbar, pelvic and thoracic regions.

    Click Here


    L*A*B* color model
    the secretion of milk by mammary tissue.
    (1) pertaining to the side; (2) external; (3) outward; (4) situated at, proceeding from, or directed to the side; (5) away from the median plane.
    Latissimus Dorsi
    a wide, triangular muscle that flexes the shoulder. It originates at the lumbar and thoracic vertebrae and ends at the humerus. Click Here
    Leaf Fat
    the heavy layer of fat that lines the inside surfaces of the abdominal cavities of hog carcasses.
    ruptured containers which have leaked.
    Lifter Meat
    common name for blade meat. (See IMPS Item No. 109B - Beef Rib, Blade Meat.)
    Ligamentum Nuchae
    a thick, elastic band of ligament imbedded between the muscle bundles on the dorsa surface of the neck, extending from the processes of the first few thoracic vertebrae to a bony crest on the upper rear of the skull; commonly called the "backstrap."
    Linea alba
    white line; a fibrous band running vertically the entire length of the center of the anterior abdominal wall, receiving the attachments of the oblique and transverse abdominal muscles.
    end seam defect in cans. A condition in which a portion of the cover curl or body flange has not been tucked properly into the end seam.
    Listeria monocytogenes
    a bacteria common to cows and sheep, which causes severe health problems for humans. Listeria grows optimally between 30 - 37 °C and can grow between 3 - 45 °C.
    a packinghouse term used to describe printing that has been baked onto the outer surface. Lithographing is not an accurate term, because the printing is usually applied by a silk-screen process rather than a true lithographic process.
    a meat food product in loaf form.
    London Broil
    meat cuts, usually boneless, that can be broiled and sliced thinly. These cuts may originate from the chuck, plate, flank, etc.
    Longissimus Dorsi
    (1) a major muscle in the beef rib and loin; lamb, veal and calf rack and loin; and the pork loin; (2) the longest and largest muscle in the back; (3) commonly called the beef "rib eye". Click Here
    Longus Colli
    commonly called the "rope muscle," it begins near the head and ends in the thoracic cavity. The longus colli flexes the head and neck; it extends along the medial side of the cervical and the first few thoracic vertebrae. Click Here
    (1) a collection of units of products that have the same item description, weight range, date of acceptance, etc., and offered for examination to determine compliance during a single workshift; (2) an amount of canned product produced in a specific time period as indicated by a can code.
    Lot Size
    the number of units (pounds, pieces, etc.) from which samples will be drawn to determine compliance.
    (1) of, pertaining to, or located within that area of the carcass between the last rib and the hip bone; (2) pertaining to the spine or back.
    Lumbar Vertebrae
    vertebrae of the loin, which are between the last rib and the hip bone. Note: Normally, porcine and ovine carcasses have seven lumbar vertebrae, but bovine carcasses have only six. Click Here
    the clear yellowish, slightly alkaline fluid contained in the lymphatic vessels.
    Lymph Gland
    structures located along the lymph vessels. Lymph glands function as filters for the fluid lymph.


    Mammary Tissue
    a gland that secretes milk.
    a basic common carrier transportation document that lists cargo.
    (1) fat deposited interspersed within lean muscle; (2) a quality indicator; (3) intramuscular fat. Modest Photo - Moderate Photo - Slight Photo
    a tumbling process which breaks the cell walls of meats, allowing the natural binders to exude and permitting muscle fibers to encapsulate water and fat molecules (bind), and/or allow different muscles to adhere together.
    refers to a grouping of carcasses as determined by evaluation of size, shape, and ossification of the bones and cartilages and the color and texture of lean flesh.
    Measle Beef
    see Measle Meat.
    Measle Meat
    a condition caused by tissue encystment by the intermediate (cysticercosis) stage of tapeworms. Affected carcasses have red spots on their external surface. "Beef Measles" are caused by the tapeworm Taenia saginata, "pork measles" by Taenia solium, and "sheep measles" by Taenia ovis.
    the edible part of the muscle of bovine, which is skeletal or which is formed in the tongue, diaphragm, heart, or esophagus, and which is intended for human food. The meat may or may not include the accompanying and overlying fat and portions of bone, skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels that normally accompany the muscle tissue and they are not separated from it in the dressing process. The term "meat" does not include the muscle found in the lips, snout, or ears. NOTE: Most Meat Grading specifications exclude meat from the tongue, esophagus, and heart. According to the Agricultural Marketing Service, meat is the product from a dressed carcass.
    Meat Byproducts
    any part fit for human food, other than meat, derived from one or more cattle, sheep, swine or goats - including but not limited to such organs and parts as livers, kidneys, sweetbreads, brains, lungs, spleens, stomachs, tripe, lips, snouts, and ears.
    Meat Food Product
    any article of food, or any article intended for or capable of being used as human food, which is derived or prepared in whole or in substantial and definite part from any portion of any bovine, ovine, or porcine, except such articles as organotherapeutic substances, meat juice, meat extract, and the like, which are only for medicinal purposes and are advertised only to the medical profession.
    Meat Food Product Loaves
    see Non-specific Loaf.
    (1) near the median plane or body part; (2) located along or toward the middle.
    Medial Plane
    (1) divides the carcass into equal right and left halves; (2) passes through the vertebral column dividing the body into two equal halves (e.g., sides of a beef carcass).
    a common term for the spleen.
    a folding of the peritoneum that suspends the intestine. (See peritoneum.)
    microorganisms whose optimum growth temperature is between 35 - 37 °C (body temperature).
    bones of the lower knee. In the sheep industry, these bones are commonly known as the "cannon bones."
    very small living cells including bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Individual organisms can be seen only with the aid of a microscope.
    Milk-fed Veal
    meat from the carcass of very young calves which have been fed principally on milk with little or no grain or roughage ration.
    Mock Tender
    a common name for the supraspinatus. It's also called chuck tender, scotch tender, catfish, etc.
    multi-celled microorganisms which produce toxins. They usually reproduce by sporing. Even though individuals are not evident without a microscope, large numbers may appear as a wooly growth on meat and other food products.
    Mountain Oysters
    (1) a common term for edible testicles; (2) calf fries; (3) rocky mountain oysters.
    the flexor digitorum superficialis muscles of the pork shank. This muscle is commonly called the rat in the beef industry.
    Mucosal Lining
    the membrane that lines the intestinal tract and body cavities which are exposed to the air.
    Multifidus Dorsi
    a muscle which is adjacent to the spinal vertebrae and which extends from the shoulder to the hip region. Click Here


    the short plate. (See Item No. 121 - Beef Plate, Short Plate.)


    Net Weight
    the weight of a container's contents after the weight of packaging and packing materials are subtracted.
    bovine carcasses of any grade, which have not been grade identified.
    Non-specific Loaf
    a loaf produced with no restrictions on water, cereal, NFDM, starch, corn syrup, etc. There are limitations on nitrate, nitrite, and other chemical additives. The name of such product may not refer to meat. Some common names of non-specific loaves are, pickle and pimento loaf, olive loaf, Dutch loaf, etc. Note: Such products are certified in accordance with IMPS Item No. 815, Meat Food Product Loaves.


    Obliquus Abdominis Externus
    a muscle that originates from the last few ribs and extends posteriorly and ventrally to the flank region. Click Here
    Obliquus Abdominis Internus
    a muscle that originates near the last rib and extends anteriorly and ventrally to the flank region. Where both the obliquus abdominis externus and internus are present, it is medial to the externus. Click Here
    the edible organs or parts from the thoracic and abdominal cavities and the tongue. (See edible by-product.)
    One-hundred-percent Sampling
    a method of examination in which all items in a lot are examined. Items not fully complying with the detailed item description shall be rejected.
    Open Side
    the left side of a beef carcass. So called because of the longer and freer attachment of the kidney and surrounding fat.
    making an impression on, or stimulating, any of the special senses: smell, sight, taste, and touch.
    Origin Inspection
    an examination of product prior to shipment or transfer to the purchaser.
    the formation of bone or a bony substance; the conversion of fibrous tissue or cartilage into bone by the deposition of hard mineral material, especially calcium and phosphorus. Note: This concept is especially important in determining skeletal maturity.


    the tails of beef carcasses. The coccygeal vertebrae and associated muscles.
    connective tissue and fat lies on the medial side of the aitch bone.


    material used to separate and protect layers of product.
    1) the measure of a product's ability to please the sense of taste; (2) appealing, delicious, appetizing, savory, or tasty.
    a wooden, metal, or plastic platform used to keep materials off the floor and to provide a convenient platform for forklift of floor jack handling.
    examination by the sense of touch.
    a gland located in the duodenal loop of animals, which secretes insulin.
    an enzyme which breaks down meat protein, thereby tenderizing the meat; it is contained in papaya juice.
    extending in the same direction at the same distance apart at every point, so as to never meet.
    organisms that live and reproduce at the expense of their host. They are killed by proper cooking.
    common name for the knee cap; in the live animal, it protects the knee joint. It is adjacent to the posterior end of the femur on the ventral side. Click Here
    a formed ground meat portion, with or without extenders or binders.
    in or on the chest cavity; refers to bones, muscles, or body parts in the breast or chest.
    Pectoral Limb
    front limb; e.g., shoulder or front leg.
    Pectorales profundi
    a porcine muscle which is commonly called the "half moon" due to its appearance. It extends from near the 3rd cervical vertebrae to near the 12th rib. Click Here
    Pelvic Fat
    fat found in the pelvic region.
    Pelvic Limb
    hind limb; e.g., round, ham, or hind leg.
    the fused ilium, ischium, and pubis which make up the hip. A portion of the pelvis ("aitch bone") is exposed when the carcass is split into sides.
    around the bone; a thin tough connective tissue that covers the outer surface of bones. During boning it may stay attached to the lean or it may adhere to the bone. Two places it can be found are the medial surface of the beef clod and sirloin butt.
    the perimeter, external boundary, or surface of an organ, cut, carcass, etc.
    the thin serous membrane covering the inside of the flank and the abdomen.
    at right angles to a given plane or line.
    a measure of alkalinity or acidity of a product.
    bone between the two joints in the fingers or toes.
    a group of chemicals used to increase the water retaining capacity of meat tissue.
    (1) any brine, vinegar, or spicy solution used to preserve food flavor; (2) curing solution.
    Pike's Peak Roast
    contains parts of the semimembranosus, semitendinous, gracilis, gastrocnemius (medial head), biceps femoris, and the superficial digital flexor.
    the dried berries of Pimento officinalis, a tropical American tree. These berries are used to make Allspice. NOTE: PIMENTOS ARE USUALLY MORE EXPENSIVE THAN PIMIENTOS. SO, WHEN CERTIFYING MEAT FOOD PRODUCT LOAF, PIMENTO, IMPS ITEM NO. 815, CHECK THE INGREDIENTS LABEL CAREFULLY.
    the red, fleshy fruit of the cone-shaped thick-walled Spanish sweet pepper. Pimientos are used in various meat products.
    Pin Bone
    a common term for the anterior point of the hip; ilium. Click Here
    Pituitary Gland
    the small oval gland attached to a short stalk on the base (ventral surface) of the brain. This gland is sometimes used for pharmaceutical production of the hormone pituitrin.
    Pizzle Eye
    (1) the root of the penis; (2) the white surface area remaining when the ligamentous attachments (the crura) are cut through when the penis is removed from male carcasses. These crurae are not naturally present in female carcasses. So, their presence provides positive sex identification of a carcass or side.


    the top or horizontal view of an object.
    Plane, coronal
    (frontal plane), dividing the body into dorsal and ventral portions.
    Plane, horizontal
    (transverse), across the body at right angles to the coronal and sagittal planes.
    Plane, median
    (sagittal or vertical), drawn through the midline of the body that divides the body into right and left halves.
    the measurement of fat above the plan created by two adjacent muscles. The seam fat between the involved muscles is not considered.
    the thin serous thoracic cavity membrane. The parietal pleura lines the inside surface of the rib cage. The visceral pleura covers the outer surfaces of the lungs.
    Pocket Tripe
    tripe prepared from the reticulum. (See tripe.)
    pertaining to that part of the leg behind the knee or stifle joint.
    Popliteal Lymph Gland
    lies in the pocket of fat on the outside round, along the natural seam separating the inside and outside round.
    Portion Control
    the process of preparing cuts of meat or portions of meat food products to predetermined individual weights (portions).
    Portion Control Cuts
    meat that complies with specified weights or thickness tolerances. This is usually achieved by cutting, slicing, forming, etc.
    located behind a center point or towards the rear. (see caudal)


    done, occurring, or collected after death.
    (1) fit or suitable for drinking; (2) water supplies that have been tested and determined to meet or exceed the appropriate health authority standards for drinking water.
    located cranially to (in front of) the femur.
    Prefemoral Lymph Gland
    lies in the posterior and ventral end of the flank. It is sometimes exposed when the round and loin are separated.
    Preliminary Class Identification
    an official precursory mark placed directly above the preliminary quality or yield grade stamp. (See MGC Instruction 918-1, G-20, Exhibits.)
    Preliminary Quality Grade Identification
    an official precursory mark that indicates a carcass' quality grade. (See MGC Instruction 918-1, G-20, Exhibits.)
    Preliminary Yield Grade Identification
    an official precursory mark that indicates a carcass' yield grade. (See MGC Instruction 918-1, G-20, Exhibits.)
    Prepared Meats
    wholesome meat products that have been dried, cured, smoked, cooked, ground, seasoned, flavored, or any combination of such procedures, and are virtually free of substances other than meat or meat by-products.
    located cranially to (in front of) the scapula.
    Prescapular Lymph Gland
    the lymph gland which is located cranially to (in front of) the scapula.
    Primal Cuts
    the wholesale cuts of meat cut from a carcass or side.
    Primary Container
    (1) the immediate receptacle containing the product; (2) the package that protects, preserves, and maintains the product. It may be metal, glass, fiber, wood, textile, plastic, paper, or any other suitable type of material, and may be supplemented by liners, overwraps, or other protective materials.
    a projection or outgrowth.
    the manufacturing of meat products from carcass meats by drying, curing, smoking, cooking, seasoning, flavoring, or any combination of such processes, with or without fabricating.
    the turning downward of the palm or sole of the forefoot.
    Protuberance of the Femur
    the lateral (side or external) end of the femur bone; the greater trochanter.
    (1) situated nearest the center of the body or the point of attachment of a limb, etc.; e.g., the femur is proximal to the tibia; (2) the opposite of distal.
    Psoas Major
    a muscle that helps flex the hip. It originates in the anterior end of the lumbar region and extends along the lumbar vertebrae; becomes part of the ilio-psoas which attaches to the femur. The psoas major is the major muscle in the tenderloin. Click Here
    Psoas Minor
    a thin muscle that extends along the psoas major. Click Here
    microorganisms that can grow at reduced temperatures. Growth commonly occurs in refrigerated food products, e.g., meat at temperatures less than 15 degree C.
    the small bony cranial floor of the pelvis. Click Here
    Pullman Style
    a term commonly applied to product canned in long cans which are 4x4 inches square.
    the juices exuded from fresh, cooked or cured meat cuts. These juices may be found in product containers.


    Quality Grade
    a designation based on those characteristics of meat which predict the palatability characteristics of the lean. Graph
    the process of cutting carcass sides into quarters. Beef is usually quartered by sawing through the vertebral column and making a knife cut between the ribs, through the longissimus dorsi from the dorsal side and continuing to the ventral side of the carcass.


    relating to the radius or any structures named from it, or to any radius.
    (1) a long bone of the forelimb, extending between the humerus and the carpal bones, it is fused with the ulna; (2) the distance from the center of a circle to the periphery. Click Here
    Random Sampling
    the difference between the highest and the lowest measurement.
    the digital flexor muscles in beef. This muscle is commonly called the "mouse" in pork.
    Ready to Eat
    a product that has been heated to a minimum regulatory temperature and labeled as "fully cooked" or has been thermal stabilized (canned).
    Rectus Abdominis
    a muscle originating at the costal cartilage and sternum. It attaches to the prepubic tendon, which attaches to the hip. Click Here
    Rectus Femoris
    one of the quadriceps femoris muscles which extends the stifle. It originates from the ilium and extends to the patella. Click Here
    Rejection Number (Re)
    the number in a sampling plan that indicates the minimum number of defects in a sample that will cause a lot to fail a specific AQL.
    (1) a material that remains in place or has an effect of long duration; (2) that which is left after part is taken away (e.g., salt remaining after the moisture has evaporated from brine or protein on an improperly cleaned gondola).
    the second compartment of a ruminant stomach; commonly called honeycomb due to its honeycomb-like appearance of the lining. It is used to make "honeycomb tripe."
    a horizontal or vertical tank used to cook canned product by subjecting the filled and sealed cans to high temperature steam under pressure.
    Reverse Roll
    a USDA procedure used to identify beef carcasses and cuts that originate from carcasses that have had more than 0.5% of KPH removed prior to yield grading.
    previously rejected product that is used to produce new products; e.g., broken patties reground to make new patties. Note: The percentage of defective product permitted to be reworked is usually stated in the specification.
    a muscle that extends the head. It originates near the skull and extends medially to the trapezius. The rhomboideus ends posterior to the scapula. Click Here
    Rib Bones
    elongated bones that form the lateral walls of the thoracic (chest) cavity; they attach dorsally to the thoracic vertebrae and ventrally to the sternum.
    Rib Fingers
    a common name for intercostal muscles or meat between the ribs.
    Ribbing, Rib Down
    a step in cutting beef side into quarters, making a knife cut between the 12th and 13th ribs, across the longissimus dorsi, and usually from the dorsal side to the ventral side. This procedure does not completely separate the forequarter from the hindquarter. (See quartering.)
    a common name for the longissimus dorsi. Click Here
    Ridge of Blade Bone
    the raised portion of the scapula.
    Rigid Container
    a sturdy vessel, which can withstand limited internal and external pressure without damage.
    a carcass that exhibits stiffness due to ionic locking of actin and myosin muscle filaments.
    Rigor Mortis
    (1) rigor of muscle that occurs soon after death; (2) stiffness or rigidity of a carcass resulting from the coagulation of cell protoplasm proteins. The condition remains until the muscle tissue begins to deteriorate.
    Rope Muscle
    a common name for the longus colli. Click Here
    pivoting on the long axis.
    Rough Cuts
    (1) the less desirable primal cuts of a carcass, including but not limited to the flank, navel, brisket, and shank; (2) subprimal cut with major muscles removed.
    Round Dressed
    an unsplit carcass.
    (1) the first and largest compartment of the ruminate stomach; (2) the paunch. The cleaned rumen with the mucosal lining removed is called "tripe."
    when used as a noun: a mammal that chews a cud of food, has a four- compartment stomach and a divided hoof. Cattle, sheep, and goats are ruminates.


    of, pertaining to, or located near the sacral vertebrae.
    Sacral Vertebrae
    vertebrae of the sacrum; they are posterior to the lumbar vertebrae and anterior to the caudal vertebrae. Click Here
    Sacrosciatic Ligament
    the heavy, wide connective tissue that helps form the lateral walls of the hip. It may be found on the dorsal edge of the boneless sirloin butt.
    (1) the triangular shaped bone formed by the fused vertebrae that are wedged dorsally between the hip bones; (2) the section of the vertebral column that extends between the two sides of the pelvis from the lumbar vertebrae to the coccygeal vertebrae.
    Sagittal Plane
    a position parallel but lateral to the median plane.
    a bacteria contained in all raw foods of animal origin. It causes salmonellosis and is the most common food-borne pathogen. Most people who are infected get diarrhea, and many people have upset stomachs, chills, fever, or a headache. Food handling mistakes such as improper cooling, undercooking, infected person touching cooked food, inadequate reheating of cooked and chilled foods, improper hot storage of cooked foods, cross-contamination of cooked foods by raw foods, inadequate cleaning of equipment, and eating raw meat or poultry cause most cases of salmonellosis.
    the collective number of sample units which are to be used to examine a lot.
    Sample Size (n)
    the number of sample units to be included in the sample.
    Sample Unit
    an individual item (roast, chop, steak, etc.) or designated quantity of product to be part of a sample.
    Sampling Plan
    a plan that states the number of sample units to be included in the sample as well as the corresponding plan parameters used to make acceptance and rejection decisions.
    a muscle which helps flex the hip. It extends from the hip to the tibia. Click Here
    the large, flat, uppermost bone of the pectoral limb; commonly called the blade bone. Click Here
    1) a cut into a meat product; (2) a line in a cardboard box.
    Scotch Tender
    a common name for the Supraspinatus muscle. (See Chuck Tender.)
    Scratchy Periosteum
    see calcified scratchy periosteum.
    (1) cutting through all the ribs of a hog carcass to facilitate separation of the loin and the spareribs (See Figure 2.); (2) scoring and breaking the thoracic vertebral spinous processes of a beef side.
    the junction created by free edges of a fiberboard container.
    Seam Fat
    fat deposited between muscle bundles.
    Secondary Container
    the container in which one or more primary containers are packed.
    Sectioned and Formed
    a meat product consisting of closely trimmed, massaged, formed, complete muscles (or muscle systems) e.g., sectioned and formed hams. This product may be labeled as "Ham."
    Seedy Bellies
    pork bellies that have visible patches of grey or black mammary tissue in them.
    Semi-rigid Container
    a vessel which maintains its shape during handling at atmospheric pressure, but cannot withstand internal or external pressure, e.g., foil pouches or trays.
    one of the muscles which helps extend the hip. It originates from the hip and extends to the tibia. Click Here
    commonly called the "eye" of round, it is one of the muscles which helps extend the hip. It originates from the hip and extends to the tibia. The semitendinous is located in the outside round adjacent to the inside round. Click Here
    a thin wall dividing two cavities or masses of softer tissue.
    resembling or composed of blood serum.
    Serous Membrane
    a thin connective tissue that lines most of the closed cavities of the carcass and covers the outer surface of the viscera.
    Serratus Ventralis
    a wide muscle which helps move the scapula. It extends from the cervical vertebrae to a point along the ribs which is just dorsal to the sternum. It extends as far back as the tenth costal cartilage. Click Here
    the application of a chain to the hind leg in preparation for hoisting a carcass to an overhead rail.
    indicates mandatory requirements.
    the distal end of the fore and hind legs of a dressed carcass.
    Shelf Life
    the length of time a meat product remains suitable for consumption.
    Shell Loin
    a common name for a bone-in strip loin. (See Item Nos. 175 - Beef Loin, Strip Loin, and 179 - Beef Loin, Strip Loin, Short Cut.)
    Shell Steak
    laymen's term for steaks made from IMPS Item Nos. 175 - Beef Loin, Strip Loin, or 179 - Beef Loin, Strip Loin, Short Cut.
    Shin, Shins of Beef
    hindshank or foreshank, individually or in combination; hock bones must be removed. (See shank, hindshank and foreshank.)
    Shipping Container
    the receptacle or covering in which one or more immediate containers of products are packed for transportation.
    a word used to identify an advisable procedure.
    Shoulder Joint
    where the humerus and scapula meet.
    Shoulder Rose
    a common name for the beef cutaneous muscle on the lateral surface of the shoulder.
    Shoulder Stick
    a bleeding stick wound that extends into the shoulder muscles, causing hemorrhage and discoloration.
    weight loss from meat that may occur during storage, processing, transportation, handling, etc.
    Shrink Wrap
    plastic wrapping material that tightly fits meat, cartons, or containers. The fit is usually enhanced by subjecting the material to moist heat.
    product weight lost during storage, usually due to dehydration. (See shrink.)
    an unbleached muslin sheet soaked in water or salt brine and then pulled tightly around the beef side and pinned into place. This smoothes and bleaches the outer surface of the side. NOTE: Shrouding has been abandoned by most packers.
    Shroud Pins
    pins which attach shrouds to beef sides.
    (1) one half of a split carcass; (2) the intact fore and hindquarters; (3) the portions of a carcass after it has been split longitudinally, usually from the posterior end to the anterior end.
    Side Seam
    the seam formed by connecting the edges of a can's body blank to form the can body.
    Silent Cutter
    the commercial name for a machine that mixes and grinds meat ingredients. Ingredients are placed into a revolving tub which carries the ingredients into rapidly rotating knives that chop and emulsify the material.
    Simultaneous Grading
    carcasses are evaluated for both quality and yield grade designations.
    Single Sampling Plan
    a sampling scheme where the decision to accept or reject an inspection lot with respect to a specified requirement is made after the inspection of a single sample. A single sampling plan consists of a single sample size with associated acceptance and rejection criteria.
    Sirloin Tip
    a common name for the beef knuckle.
    Sirloin Tip Steak
    a common name for steaks cut from the beef knuckle.
    Skeletal Muscles
    muscles that are responsible for movement of the live animal.
    a collection of bones and cartilage that support and protect animal tissues.
    wooden, plastic, or metal pins used to hold meat in place.
    a common name for diaphragm or transversus abdominal muscles.
    a container that is not filled to capacity. Note: Improper filling often results in product damage because the container may become crushed during shipping.
    Sour Round
    a fermentation and putrefaction process found in the hind legs of beef carcasses. This condition is probably caused by slow cooling of the carcass. The sour area is usually focused on the coxofemoral (hip) joint, and may involve only the synovial fluid of this joint, or may extend into the tissues of the round and the loin.
    Special-Fed Veal
    see Formula Fed-Veal.
    Specific Loaf
    a loaf that must be made from meat. There are limitations on water, cereal, etc.
    contractual descriptions concerning the class, grade, other quality, quantity, or condition of products approved by the Administrator and available for use by industry regardless of the origin of the descriptions.
    Spinal Canal
    in the live animal, the canal or tube formed by the vertebral arches containing the spinal nerve cord. (See Spinal Grove.)
    Spinal Cord
    the thick trunk of nerve that extends down the spinal canal from the base of the brain to the pelvic region of the carcass.
    Spinal Grove
    the depression in a carcass' chine bone, which may or may not contain portions of the spinal cord.
    Spinalis Dorsi
    a muscle that extends along the cervical and thoracic vertebrae - commonly called the "ribeye" or "cap" muscle. Click Here
    Spinous Processes
    the blade-like extension from the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the spinal vertebrae. The dorsal spinous processes are commonly called featherbones. The transverse spinous processes are commonly called fingerbones. Click Here
    the large highly vascular, ductless visceral organ in the upper left abdomen, laying near or across the surface of the stomach. The spleen modifies and regulates the cellular components of the blood.
    a muscle that originates from the skull and ends in the shoulder; it helps extend the head and neck. The splenius is lateral to the complexus. Click Here
    Spool Joint
    ossified joints that result from fusion of the distal portion of the metacarpus and the distal epiphyseal plate. This joint is especially helpful in differentiating lamb from yearling mutton. (See break joints.)
    see sweller or flipper.
    St. Louis Style Spare Ribs
    spareribs with breast bone, ventral portion of costal cartilage, and flap removed. (See Item No. 416A - Pork Spareribs, St. Louis Style.
    an animal that was castrated after developing definite masculine characteristics.
    a bacteria present in meat and other foods that are held for 5 hours or more in temperatures between 45 - 100°F. Staphylococcus can be present in precooked foods that have been mishandled or handled by an infected person. Infection can be prevented by proper refrigeration and food handler hygiene.
    preformed metal fasteners used to form the joints or close fiberboard containers.
    Stationary Lot Sampling
    the process of randomly selecting sample units from a lot whose production has been completed. This type of lot is usually stored in a warehouse or in some other storage area and is offered "in toto" for inspection.
    Stationary Lot Sampling Plan
    a plan stating the number of sample units to be included in the sample as well as the corresponding acceptance and rejection criteria. The decision to accept or reject a lot with respect to a specified acceptable quality level (AQL) is made after the inspection of a sample or when the number of defects exceeds the acceptance number.
    1) a male bovine that was castrated before reaching sexual maturity (puberty); (2) a carcass that does not exhibit secondary sex characteristics associated with bulls or bullocks.
    completely free of living organisms.
    the bone and cartilage that forms the ventral surface of the ribcage and serves as the ventral attachment of the distal ends of the ribs. Click Here
    Stifle Joint
    (1) the juncture of the distal end of femur and the proximal end of the tibia/fibula and the patella; (2) the joint between the hip and the hock. The stifle joint corresponds to the human knee.
    metal fasteners used to form the joints or close fiberboard containers. These machine-formed fasteners are drawn from a wire spool.
    a tubular open-woven, cloth material used to contain meat during processing, especially during smoking or to protect it during shipping.
    a mechanical device used to stuff sausage emulsions into casings.
    Sub-Primal Cuts
    subdivision of primal cuts. Sub-primals can be further divided into portion cuts.
    a muscle medial to the scapula. It is small at the rib end and increases in size toward the anterior end of the blade bone. Click Here
    external; of, or on the surface.
    Superficial (superficialis)
    toward the surface.
    Superficial Digital Flexor
    a muscle that helps extend the hock; it lies adjacent to the gastrocnemius, attaches to the posterior end of the femur, and ends at the tendon of achilles. Click Here
    Superficial Pectoral
    a muscle in the anterior portion of the brisket. Click Here
    the turning upward of the palm or sole of the forefoot.
    a muscle that originates at the scapula and ends at the humerus; it is immediately anterior and dorsal to the medial ridge of the blade bone. In beef it is commonly called the chuck tender, catfish, scotch tender, etc. Click Here
    thymus glands of bovine or pancreas glands of porcine.
    a can which has both ends convexly distended due to interior pressures. May also be called flipper or springer.
    Synovial Fluid
    the clear viscous liquid that lubricates joints and fills various bursa of the carcass.


    Tech Data Sheet
    (TDS) a document issued by the Department of Defense to modify procurement specifications.
    the tough fibrous connective tissue at the ends of muscle bundles that attach the muscle to bone or cartilage.
    Tensor Fasciae Antibrachii
    one of the triceps brachii muscles, which helps extend the elbow. It begins at the scapula and humerus and ends at the ulna. Click Here
    Tensor Fasciae Latae
    a major muscle of the bottom sirloin. It begins in the extreme ventral side of the knuckle and ends in the bottom sirloin butt. Click Here
    a male gland that produces sperm.
    Texas Ribs
    beef back ribs. (See Item No. 124 - Rib, Back Ribs.)
    Thaw Rigor
    microorganisms which grow between 45 - 80 degree C.
    (1) thoracic cavity; (2) the chest; (3) the cavity enclosed by the rib cage and the diaphragm.
    Thymus Gland
    a ductless gland-like structure located in or near the thoracic inlet, which reaches a maximum development in the young animal and then regresses in size with age. The portion of the gland located inside the beef thoracic cavity is called the heartbread. (See also sweetbread.)
    the larger and thicker of the two bones of the hind leg between the stifle and the hock. Click Here
    Top Sirloin Butt (Bone-In)
    a common name for IMPS Item No. 181A - Beef Loin, Top Sirloin.
    crosswise; lying across the long axis of the body or of a part.
    Transverse Plane
    (1) divides the carcass into cranial and caudal segments; (2) perpendicular to median plane and to the long axis of the body. (e.g., mounted deer head)
    Transverse Processes
    spinous processes; commonly called finger bones. Click Here
    a muscle which helps move the scapula. The trapezius is triangular shaped. It extends along the spinal column from the cervical vertebrae to the last few thoracic vertebrae. Click Here
    1) a metal rack used to hang hams, bacon, sausage and other items during the smoking process; (2) a metal rack suspended from a trolley, used to hang primal cuts; (3) a device used to spread the hind legs of carcasses and to provide a point of attachment for hoisting the carcass to a rail.
    a common name for IMPS Item Nos. 185C - Loin, Bottom Sirloin Butt, Tri-Tip, Boneless and 185D - Loin, Bottom Sirloin Butt, Tri-Tip, Boneless, Defatted.
    Triceps Brachii, Long Head
    the largest of the triceps brachii muscles which helps extend the elbow. It begins at the scapula and ends at the ulna. Click Here
    cleaned, denuded rumen and reticulum. Tripe prepared from the rumen is commonly called regular tripe, while tripe prepared from the reticulum is referred to as honeycomb or pocket tripe.
    a ball of the femur on which the hipbone turns in the socket.
    Truncated Cans
    cans that have parallel ends.
    a knob on the bone.
    a slight elevation from the surface of a bone giving attachment to a muscle or ligament.
    acronym for Textured Vegetable Protein. (See VPP.)
    Two-way Pallet
    a pallet that allows a forklift or floor jack to enter from either end.
    a variety of fiberboard containers; e.g., solid fiberboard or corrugated fiberboard.


    Udder Fat
    the mammary tissue of female cattle, sheep, etc.
    the longer, thinner posterior-lateral portion of the fused radius/ulna of the forelimb (shank). Click Here


    1) devoid of matter; (2) a space that has less than atmospheric pressure.
    Vacuum Packed
    meat cuts encased in sealed containers that are devoid of air. This process reduces shrinkage and extends the product's shelf life.
    Variety Meats
    see edible by-products.
    Vastus Lateralis
    one of the quadriceps muscles, which originates in the bottom sirloin butt and attaches posteriorly to the patella. It is lateral to the rectus femoris. The vastus lateralis helps extend the stifle. Click Here
    Vastus Medialis
    one of the quadriceps muscles, which originates in the bottom sirloin butt and attaches posteriorly to the patella. It is medial to the rectus femoris. The vastus medialis helps extend the stifle. Click Here
    meat from a bovine usually less than 3 months old. Color of the lean is light grayish pink. Note: For grading purposes, chronological age is not important.
    Veal primal cuts
    leg, loin, hotel rack, breast, and shoulder.
    Veal Wholesale Cuts
    see veal primal cuts.
    a vessel through which blood passes from various organs or parts back to the heart.
    Vein Steak
    a cut from the hip end of the sirloin strip or short loin that exhibits a piece of connective tissue separating the loin eye (longissimus dorsi) from the small muscle (gluteus medius) lying immediately beneath the surface fat. The connective tissue forms an irregular half-moon shape and may appear on both sides of the steak.
    Veiny (knuckle)
    see Sirloin Tip.
    away from the back or top line of the body.
    (1) toward the belly; (2) on or toward the lower or bottom surface.
    the bones that make up the spinal column (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and caudal vertebrae), extending from the head to the tail. The split surfaces of the vertebrae that appear when a carcass is split are commonly called "chine bones."
    Vertebral Column
    see vertebrae.
    intracellular parasites that are reproduced by the host cell. They do not spoil foods, but they are important in transmitting foodborne diseases.
    the internal organs and glands contained in the thoracic and abdominal cavities.
    acronym for vegetable protein product; commonly called TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein); granular or flaked vegetable products, which can be rehydrated and assimilated into meat products.


    Water Activity (aW)
    (1) free moisture in a product; (2) water vapor pressure divided by the vapor of pure water at the same temperature.
    Water Added
    cured or smoked meat products whose weight after processing exceeds the green weight due to the added curing solution. (See PFF.)
    a packinghouse term for the muscular layer of the esophagus.
    a common name for the anterior portion of the brisket; superficial pectoral.
    Wholesale Cuts
    cuts that are traded in the beef industry; cuts that are divided into retail cuts.


    single-celled microorganisms that cause fermentation, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide.
    Yield Grade
    a designation which reflects the estimated yield of retail cuts that may be obtained from a beef, lamb, yearling mutton, or mutton carcass.


    Meat Grading and Certification Branch Glossary of Terms, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington D.C. January 2003