National Beef Quality Audit: Setting Standards for Quality and Consistency

Aug 21, 2017

nbqa_quality_1For 25 years, the Beef Checkoff has funded the National Beef Quality Audit in order to better help beef producers set standards for quality and consistency of the US beef supply. While past NBQAs focused heavily on carcass traits, the 2016 audit highlighted the concerns of sustainability, food safety and animal well-being.

The key components of the 2016 NBQA included: face-to-face interviews; transportation, mobility and harvest floor assessments; cooler assessments; instrument grading evaluation and strategy sessions. During face-to-face interviews with people across all facets of the industry, food safety and guaranteed quality were among the top concerns. The harvest floor assessments concluded nearly 97% recorded a high mobility score of 1, as well as a decrease in the number of black hided cattle.

Additionally, there has been a continued increase in carcass weights, with 2016 research indicating 44.1 percent of carcass weighed 900 pounds or greater. Finally, the strategy session consisted of 70 individuals from all facets of the industry, in order to review results and discuss industry standards with these results in mind.

Overall, the 2016 findings indicated a decrease in cattle with hide brands and horns, as well as an increase in the number of Prime and Choice carcasses. Moving forward, the utilization of BQA principles will continue to build consumer confidence in the beef industry and its products.

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