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First F10 Livestock Evaluation Standards Approved

Long before that roast pork, beef or chicken arrives on the dining room table, its economic value must be determined. The grocery store cost of the roast, or the side of meat it came from, or the entire animal, results from measurement evaluations made with the use of special devices and equipment.

With anticipated publication dates in February, the first two standards from ASTM Committee F10 on Livestock, Meat, and Poultry Evaluation Systems address these devices and systems used by the processing industry to measure and record composition or quality. The documents are F 2341, Practice for User Requirements for Livestock, Meat, and Poultry Evaluation Devices or Systems, and F 2342, Specification for Design and Construction of Composition or Quality Constituent Measuring Devices or Systems.

Sheldon Clark, co-chair of the task group that developed F 2341 and hog evaluation manager for John Morrell and Co., Sioux Falls, S.D., notes that the new standard “should be very helpful for users of livestock, meat, and poultry evaluation devices in developing sound practices for the use of these devices.” He would like the standard “to instill the greatest level of confidence between producers and users,” which should result from applying the practice and consequent consistency in using such systems. F 2341 provides user requirements for installation, operator training, operation, verification, inspection, maintenance, and procedures for keeping data.

Representatives from equipment manufacturers, livestock packers, government agencies, livestock associations, and academia worked together on both F 2341 and F 2342, the latter of which specifies design and construction requirements for the devices and systems for measuring livestock, carcasses, and individual cuts of meat.

“Measurements can be used for making value determinations such as fat-to-lean ratio for swine carcasses or grade and yield for beef carcasses,” says Richard Suiter, weights and measures coordinator for the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., and chair of the F10 task group responsible for F 2342. He adds that the document should “provide equity and reliability in the devices and the measurements used to determine quality constituents in meat and carcasses evaluated in packing facilities in the United States today and in the future.”

F 2342 addresses design criteria for the devices and systems currently in use and others being developed. These devices and systems are or will be used to determine an adjustment to the base price for livestock being produced by farmers and ranchers and sold to the packing industry. Both new standards will be of use to those producing the livestock or poultry, the packing companies who purchase the livestock or poultry, and the equipment manufacturers.

For further technical information about F10.10 on Design Specification and F 2342, contact Richard Suiter, NIST (phone: 301/975-4406). For further technical information about F10.30 on User Requirements and F 2341, contact Sheldon Clark, John Morrell and Co. (phone: 605/330-3305). For membership or meeting details, contact Jim Olshefsky, director, committee services, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9714). //

Copyright 2004, ASTM International