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Livestock Quality Grades  
USDA grades for meat establish a common language of commerce that benefits all participants in the market: producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. Quality grades (Prime, Choice, & Select) reflect the flavor and tenderness of meat and are primarily determined from carcass maturity and the amount of fat within the meat (i.e. marbling or intramuscular fat). These grades are used to reflect differences in expected eating quality among slaughter cattle and their carcasses.

 
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  US Prime Quality Grade  
 
  US Choice Quality Grade  
 
  US Select Quality Grade  
 
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  Last Modified Date: 12/06/2012