Eating quality is an important characteristic
CONFORMATION is just one aspect of a prize-winning carcass and evidence of how well it will eat is also important, according to judges of the National Festival of Meat carcass competition.
The aim is to produce a butchers carcass which is not too heavy, said heifer carcass competition judge Archie Gess. "Carcasses should be a maximum of 370kg deadweight for steers or heifers and with a reasonable fat covering and good shape."
Although what the animal is fed influences flavour, visual signs can also give an idea of eating quality, believes steer judge Nobby Bristow. "Generally, taste has disappeared from the meat industry, but signs of eating quality include flecks of fat through the flesh and colour."
Both judges welcome the involvement of more abattoirs in the event. "In the past, money was lost because whole carcasses had to be disposed of by Smithfield Market, including lower quality cuts. Now abattoirs entering carcasses are responsible for them."