Carcass Grading

World Ostrich Association
Carcass Grade Categories, Version 1.0

January 4th, 2003
Version 1.0

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OSTRICH CARCASS/MEAT GRADES

Prime

Choice

Select

Utility

Non-Food

Prime Grade Defined

Item

Status or Condition

Bird Age Less than 16 months of age
Fat Pan Color White Fat Pan color only
Muscle Color Even red muscle color throughout
Heart Condition Heart of normal size, color & texture with no damage
Liver Condition Mid-brown color with no abscess/ulcerations
Disease Condition No disease symptoms or evidence
Other Condition No Oedema or "jell" substance on heart, thigh or sternum

Note: A Prime Grade carcass will yield the highest amount of primary meat cuts with a consistent degree of tenderness throughout all the primary meat muscles.

Choice Grade Defined

Item

Status or Condition

Bird Age 16 to 24 months of age
Fat Pan Color White Fat Pan color only
Muscle Color Even red muscle color throughout
Heart Condition Heart of normal size, color & texture with no damage
Liver Condition Mid-brown color with no abscess/ulcerations
Disease Condition No disease symptoms or evidence
Other Condition No Oedema or "jell" substance on heart, thigh or sternum

Note: A Choice Grade Ostrich carcass will yield a few primary meat cuts, if carefully selected, with a reasonable degree of tenderness. The majority of the Choice carcass will be secondary meat cuts and ground meat.

Select Grade Defined

Item

Status or Condition

Bird Age 25 months of age and older
Fat Pan Color White Fat Pan color only
Muscle Color Even red muscle color throughout
Heart Condition Heart of normal size, color & texture with no damage
Liver Condition Mid-brown color with no abscess/ulcerations
Disease Condition No disease symptoms or evidence
Other Condition No Oedema or "jell" substance on heart, thigh or sternum

Note: A Select Grade carcass should ONLY be used for value-added products and ground meat products.

Utility Grade Defined

Item

Status or Condition

Bird Age Any age of bird
Fat Pan Color Yellow Fat Pan color
Muscle Color Multi-coloring of muscles (pink to dark red)
White color areas in some muscles
Heart Condition Small, damaged or spongy texture heart
Liver Condition Yellow, Green or Black Color
Liver abscesses or ulcerations
Disease Condition No disease symptoms or evidence
Other Condition Oedema or "jell" substance on heart, thigh or sternum

Note: A Utility Grade carcass should ONLY be used for value-added products and NOT for primary cuts, secondary cuts, or ground meat products.

Non-Food Grade Defined

Item

Status or Condition

Bird Age Any age of bird
Muscle Color Muscles with abscesses or channels in meat
Muscles with light or dark spots
Liver Condition Spotty or infected livers
Disease Condition Any disease symptoms or evidence

A Non-Food Grade Ostrich carcass will exhibit one or more of the above undesirable traits
Note: A Non-Food Grade carcass must not be used for human consumption.

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