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(2) A lamb which has conformation equivalent to at least the midpoint of the Good grade may have a development of finish equivalent to the minimum for the upper one-third of the Utility grade and remain eligible for Good. Also, a development of finish which is superior to that specified as minimum for the Good grade may compensate for a development of conformation which is inferior to that specified for Good on the basis of one-half grade of superior finish for one-third grade of deficient conformation as indicated in the following example: A lamb which has a development of finish equivalent to the midpoint of the Good grade may have conformation equivalent to the minimum for the upper one-third of the Utility grade and remain eligible for Good. However, in no instance may a lamb be graded Good which has a development of conformation inferior to that specified as minimum for the Utility grade.

(d) Utility. (1) Lambs meeting the minimum requirements for the Utility grade are very rangy and angular. They are very thin-fleshed, very narrow over the back, loin, and rump, and very shallow in the twist. The hips are very prominent and the shoulders are usually open, rough, and prominent. The legs are very small and thin, and present a slightly concave appearance. Regardless of age, Utility lambs show no visible evidence of fat covering. In handling, bones of the shoulders, backbone, hips, and ribs are very prominent. Utility grade lambs are of rather low quality. The bones and joints are proportionately large and the body is very rough and unsymmetrical.

(2) A lamb which has conformation equivalent to at least the midpoint of the Utility grade may have a development of finish equivalent to the minimum for the upper one-third of the Cull grade and remain eligible for Utility. Also, a development of finish which is superior to that specified as minimum for the Utility grade may compensate for a development of conformation which is inferior to that specified for Utility on the basis of one-half grade of superior finish for one-third grade of deficient conformation as indicated in the following example: A lamb which has a development of finish equivalent to the midpoint of the Utility grade may have conformation equivalent to the minimum for the upper one-third of the Cull grade and remain eligible for Utility.

(e) Cull. (1) Typical Cull grade lambs are extremely rangy, angular, and thin-fleshed and extremely narrow and shallow bodied. Shoulders and hips are very prominent. The legs are extremely small and thin and present a very concave appearance. In handling, the bones of the shoulders, backbone, hips, and ribs are extremely prominent and the entire bony framework is very evident. The general appearance is that of low quality. The relative proportion of meat to bone is quite low, joints appear large, and the body is very unsymmetrical. [25 FR. 4424, May 19, 1960]

§ 53.134 Specifications for official U.S. standards for grades of slaughter yearlings and sheep (quality).1

(a) Prime. (1) Slaughter sheep older than yearlings are not eligible for the Prime grade.

(2) Yearling sheep possessing the minimum requirements for the Prime grade are moderately lowset and blocky and thick-fleshed. They are moderately wide over the back, loin, and rump. Shoulders and hips are usually moderately smooth. The twist is moderately deep and full, and the legs are moderately large and plump. There is a rather distinct fullness or plumpness evident over the crops, loins, and rump which contributes to a well-rounded appearance. There is a slightly thick fat covering over the back, ribs, loin, and rump. In handling, the backbone and ribs are hardly discernible. Prime slaughter yearling sheep exhibit evidences of rather high quality. The bones tend to be proportionately small, the joints tend to be smooth, and the body tends to be trim, smooth, and symmetrical.

(3) To qualify for the Prime grade, a yearling must possess the minimum qualifications for finish regardless of the extent that its conformation may exceed the minimum requirements for Prime. However, a development of finish which is superior to that specified as minimum for the Prime grade may compensate, on an equal basis, for a development of conformation which is inferior to that specified for Prime as indicated in the following example: A yearling which has a development of finish equivalent to the mid-point of the Prime grade may have conformation equivalent to the midpoint of the Choice grade and remain eligible for Prime. However, in no instance may a yearling be graded Prime 134 F.R. 243, Jan. 8, 1969.

which has a development of conformation inferior to that specified as minimum for the Choice grade.

(4) Yearlings which are otherwise eligible for the Prime grade but which have excessive external fat are not eligible for Prime.

(b) Choice. (1) Slaughter sheep possessing the minimum requirements for the Choice grade tend to be slightly lowset and blocky and thick-fleshed. They tend to be slightly wide over the back, loin, and rump. The shoulders and hips are usually slightly smooth but may show a slight tendency toward prominence. The twist tends to be slightly deep and full and the legs tend to be slightly thick and plump. Yearling sheep have a slightly thin fat covering over the back, ribs, loin, and rump. In handling, the backbone and ribs are readily discernible. Mature sheep have a slightly thick fat covering over the back, ribs, loin, and rump. In handling, the backbone and ribs are slightly discernible. Choice slaughter sheep usually present a moderately refined appearance.

(2) A sheep which has conformation equivalent to at least the midpoint of the Choice grade may have a development of finish equivalent to the minimum for the upper one-third of the Good grade and remain eligible for Choice. Also, a development of finish which is superior to that specified as minimum for the Choice grade may compensate, on an equal basis, for a development of conformation which is inferior to that specified for Choice as indicated in the following example: A sheep which has a development of finish equivalent to the mid-point of the Choice grade may have conformation equivalent to the mid-point of the Good grade and remain eligible for Choice. However, in no instance may a sheep be graded Choice which has a development of conformation inferior to that specified as minimum for the Good grade.

(3) Yearlings which are otherwise eligible for the Prime grade but which have excessive external fat are included in the Choice grade. Sheep which are otherwise eligible for the Choice grade but which have excessive external fat are not eligible for Choice.

(c) Good. (1) Slaughter sheep possessing the minimum requirements for the Good grade are slightly rangy and upstanding and thin-fleshed. They are

slightly narrow over the back, loin, and rump. Hips and shoulders are moderately prominent. The twist is slightly shallow and the legs slightly small and thin. Yearling sheep have slightly more than a moderately thin fat covering over the back, loin, and upper ribs. In handling, the shoulders, backbone, hips, and ribs are rather prominent. Mature sheep have a slightly thin fat covering over the back, ribs, and loin. In handling, the bones of the shoulders, backbone, hips, and ribs are slightly prominent. Sheep of this grade may present evidences of slightly low quality. The body is somewhat lacking in symmetry and smoothness.

(2) A sheep which has conformation equivalent to at least the mid-point of the Good grade may have a development of finish equivalent to the minimum for the upper one-third of the Utility grade and remain eligible for Good. Also, a development of finish which is superior to that specified as minimum for the Good grade may compensate for a development of conformation which is inferior to that specified for Good on the basis of onehalf grade of superior finish for onethird grade of deficient conformation as indicated in the following example: A sheep which has evidences of finish equivalent to the mid-point of the Good grade may have conformation equivalent to the minimum for the upper one-third of the Utility grade and remain eligible for Good. However, in no instance may a sheep be graded Good which has a development of conformation inferior to that specified as minimum for the Utility grade.

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(d) Utility. (1) Slaughter sheep meeting the minimum requirements for the Utility grade are very rangy and angular. They are very thin-fleshed, very narrow over the back, loin, and rump, and very shallow in the twist. The hips are very prominent and the shoulders are usually open, rough, and prominent. The legs are very small and thin and present a slightly concave appearance. gardless of age, Utility grade slaughter sheep show no visible evidences of fat covering. In handling, the bones of the shoulders, backbone, hips, and ribs are so thinly covered that they are very prominent. Utility grade slaughter sheep are of rather low quality. The bones and joints are proportionately large and the body is very rough and unsymmetrical.

(2) A sheep which has conformation equivalent to at least the mid-point of the Utility grade may have a development of finish equivalent to the minimum for the upper one-third of the Cull grade and remain eligible for Utility. Also, a development of finish which is superior to that specified as minimum for the Utility grade may compensate for a development of conformation which is inferior to that specified for Utility on the basis of one-half grade of superior finish for one-third grade of deficient conformation as indicated in the following example: A sheep which has a development of finish equivalent to the midpoint of the Utility grade may have conformation equivalent to the minimum for the upper one-third of the Cull grade and remain eligible for Utility.

(e) Cull. (1) Typical Cull grade sheep are extremely rangy, angular, and thin-fleshed and extremely narrow and shallow bodied. Shoulders and hips are very prominent. The legs are extremely small and thin and present a very concave appearance. In handling, the bones of the shoulders, backbone, hips, and ribs are extremely prominent and the entire bony framework is very evident. The general appearance is that of low quality. The relative proportion of meat to bone is quite low, joints appear large, and the body is very unsymmetrical. [25 F.R. 4425, May 19, 1960]

§ 53.135 Specifications for official U.S. standards for grades of slaughter lambs, yearlings, and sheep (yield). (a) Yield Grade 1. (1) Yield Grade 1 slaughter lambs, yearlings, and sheep produce carcasses which have very high yields of boneless retail cuts. Ovines with characteristics qualifying them for the lower limits of Yield Grade 1 (near the borderline between Yield Grade 1 and Yield Grade 2) will differ considerably because of inherent differences in the development of their muscling and skeletal systems and related differences in fatness.

(2) Very thickly muscled ovines typical of the minimum of this grade have a high proportion of lean to bone. They are moderately wide and usually the width through the shoulders and legs is greater than through the back. The top is wellrounded with no evidence of flatness and the back and loin are moderately full and plump. The legs are moderately large and plump and the width through the middle part of the legs is greater than through the back. The shoulders and hips are

slightly prominent. These ovines have only a thin covering of external fat over the back and loin and a slightly thick covering of fat over the rump and down over the ribs. They are shallow through the flanks and the brisket and cod or udder have little evidence of fullness. In handling, the backbone, ribs, and ends of bones at the loin edge are moderately prominent. A carcass produced from slaughter ovines of this description might have 0.1 inch of fat over the ribeye and a low Prime leg conformation grade.

(b) Yield Grade 2. (1) Yield Grade 2 slaughter lambs, yearlings, and sheep produce carcasses with high yields of boneless retail cuts. Ovines with characteristics qualifying them for the lower limits of Yield Grade 2 (near the borderline between Yield Grade 2 and Yield Grade 3) will differ considerably because of inherent differences in the development of their muscling and skeletal systems and related differences in fatness.

(2) Very thickly muscled ovines typical of the minimum of this grade have a high proportion of lean to bone. They are wide through the back and loin and have slightly greater width through the shoulders and legs than through the back. The top is well-rounded with little evidence of flatness and the back and loin are full and plump. The legs are large and plump and the width through the middle part of the legs is slightly greater than through the back. The shoulders and hips are slightly smooth. These ovines have a slightly thin layer of external fat over the back and loin and a thick covering of fat over the rump and down over the ribs. They are slightly shallow through the flanks and the brisket and cod or udder are slightly full. In handling, the backbone, ribs and ends of bones at the loin edge are readily discernible. A carcass produced from slaughter ovines of this description might have 0.2 inch of fat over the ribeye and an average Prime Leg conformation grade.

(3) Thinly muscled ovines typical of the minimum of this grade have a relatively low proportion of lean to bone. They tend to be slightly narrow over the back, loin, and rump. The legs tend to be slightly small and thin and the width over the back is slightly greater than through the legs. The shoulders and hips tend to be moderately prominent. These ovines have a thin covering of external fat over the back and loin and a moderately thick covering of fat over the

rump and down over the ribs. They tend to be slightly shallow through the flanks. The brisket and cod or udder have little evidence of fullness. In handling, the backbone, ribs, and ends of the bones at the loin edge are moderately prominent. A carcass produced from slaughter ovines of this description might have 0.15 inch of fat over the ribeye and high Good leg conformation grade.

(c) Yield Grade 3. (1) Yield Grade 3 slaughter lambs, yearlings, and sheep produce carcasses with intermediate yields of boneless retail cuts. Ovines with characteristics qualifying them for the lower limits of Yield Grade 3 (near the borderline between Yield Grade 3 and Yield Grade 4) will differ considerably because of inherent differeences in the development of their muscling and skeletal systems and related differences in fatness.

(2) Very thickly muscled ovines typical of the minimum of this grade have a high proportion of lean to bone. They are very wide through the back and loin and are uniform in width from front to rear. The top is nearly flat with only a slight tendency toward roundness. The back and loin are very full and plump. The legs are very large and plump. The shoulders and hips are moderately smooth. These ovines have a slightly thick covering of fat over the back and loin and a very thick covering of fat over the rump and down over the ribs. The flanks are slightly deep and full and the brisket and cod or udder are moderately full. In handling, the backbone, ribs, and ends of bones at the loin edge are moderately discernible. A carcass produced from slaughter ovines of this description might have 0.3 inch of fat over the ribeye and a high Prime leg conformation grade.

(3) Thinly muscled ovines typical of the minimum of this grade have a relatively low proportion of lean to bone. They tend to be slightly wide over the back, loin and rump. The legs tend to be slightly thick and plump. The width over the back is moderately greater than through the legs. The shoulders and hips are slightly prominent. These ovines have a slightly thin covering of external fat over the back and loin and a thick covering of fat over the rump and down over the ribs. The flanks tend to be slightly deep and full. The brisket and cod or udder are slightly full. In handling, the backbone, ribs, and ends of bones at the loin edge tend to be moderately discernible. A carcass produced from slaughter

ovines of this description might have 0.25 inch of fat over the ribeye and a low Choice leg conformation grade.

(d) Yield Grade 4. (1) Yield Grade 4 slaughter lambs, yearlings, and sheep produce carcasses with moderately low yields of boneless retail cuts. Ovines with characteristics qualifying them for the lower limits of Yield Grade 4 (near the borderline between Yield Grade 4 and Yield Grade 5) will differ considerably because of inherent differences in the development of their muscling and skeletal systems and related differences in fatness.

(2) Very thickly muscled ovines typical of the minimum of this grade have a high proportion of lean to bone. They are extremely wide through the back and loin and are slightly wider over the top than through the shoulders and legs. The back and loin are extremely full and plump. The legs are extremely large and plump. The shoulders and hips are smooth. These ovines have a moderately thick covering of fat over the back and loin, and an extremely thick covering of fat over the rump and down over the ribs. The flanks are moderately deep and full and the brisket and cod or udder are full. In handling, the backbone, ribs, and ends of bones at the loin edge are slightly discernible. A carcass produced from slaughter ovines of this description might have 0.4 inch of fat over the ribeye and a high Prime leg conformation grade.

(3) Thinly muscled ovines typical of the minimum of this grade have a relatively low proportion of lean to bone. They tend to be moderately wide over the back, loin, and rump. The legs tend to be moderately thick and plump. They are wider over the back than through the legs. The shoulders and hips are slightly smooth. These ovines have a slightly thick covering of external fat over the back and loin and a very thick covering of fat over the rump and down over the ribs. The flanks are slightly deep and full. The brisket and cod or udder are moderately full. In handling, the backbone, ribs, and ends of bones at the loin edge tend to be slightly discernible. A carcass produced from slaughter ovines of this description might have 0.35 inch of fat over the ribeye and an average Choice leg conformation grade.

(e) Yield Grade 5. Yield Grade 5 slaughter lambs, yearlings, and sheep produce carcasses with low yields of boneless retail cuts. Ovines of this grade

consist of those not meeting the minimum requirements of Yield Grade 4 because of either more fat or a lower leg conformation grade or a combination of these characteristics.

[34 F.R. 243, Jan. 8, 1969]

PORK CARCASSES

§ 53.140 Bases for pork carcass standards.

The standards for pork carcasses developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, provide for segregation according to (a) class, as determined by the apparent sex condition of the animal at the time of slaughter, and (b) grade, which reflects quality of pork and the relative proportion of lean cuts to fat cuts in the carcass.

[17 F. R. 7364, Aug. 13, 1952] § 53.141

Pork carcass classes.

The five classes of pork carcasses, comparable to the same five classes of slaughter hogs, are barrow, gilt, sow, stag, and boar carcasses.

§ 53.142 Application of standards for

grades of barrow and gilt carcasses. (a) Grades for barrow and gilt carcasses are based on two general considerations: (1) Quality-indicating characteristics of the lean, and (2) expected combined yields of the four lean cuts (ham, loin, picnic shoulder, and Boston butt).

(b) With respect to quality, two general levels are considered: One for carcasses with characteristics which indicate that the lean in the four lean cuts will have an acceptable quality and one for carcasses with characteristics which indicate that the lean will have an unacceptable quality. The quality of the lean is best evaluated by a direct observation of its characteristics in a cut surface and when a cut surface of major muscles is available, this shall be used as the basis for the quality determination. The standards describe the characteristics of the loin eye muscle at the 10th rib. However, when this surface is not available, other exposed major muscle surfaces can be used for the quality determination based on the normal development of the characteristics in relation to those described for the loin eye muscle at the 10th rib. When a major muscle cut surface is not available, the quality of the lean shall be evaluated indirectly based on quality-indicating characteristics that are evident in carcasses. These

include firmness of the fat and lean, amount of feathering between the ribs, and color of the lean. The standards describe a development of each of these factors that is normally associated with the lower limit of acceptable lean quality. The degree of external fatness, as such, is not considered in evaluating the quality of the lean.

(c) Carcasses which have characteristics indicating that the lean in the four lean cuts will not have an acceptable quality or bellies too thin to be suitable for bacon production are graded U.S. Utility. Also graded U.S. Utility-regardless of their development of other quality-indicating characteristics are carcasses which are soft and oily. Belly thickness is determined by an overall evaluation of its thickness with primary consideration being given to the thickness along the navel edge and thickness of the belly pocket.

(d) Four grades-U.S. No. 1, U.S. No. 2, U.S. No. 3, and U.S. No. 4-are provided for carcasses which have indications of an acceptable lean quality and acceptable belly thickness. These grades are based entirely on the expected carcass yields of the four lean cuts and no consideration is given to a development of quality superior to that described as minimum for these grades. The expected yields of the four lean cuts for each of these four grades are shown in Table I: TABLE I

Expected Yields of the Four Lean Cuts Based on Chilled Carcass Weight, by Grade 1

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1 These yields will be approximately 1 percent lower if based on hot carcass weight. The yields shown in Table I are based on cutting and trimming methods used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in developing the standards. (These cutting and trimming methods may be obtained from the Livestock Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington. D.C. 20250.) Other cutting and trimming methods may result in different yields. For example, if more fat is left on the four lean cuts than prescribed in the USDA cutting and trimming methods, the yield for each grade will be higher than indicated. However, such a method of trimming, if

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