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a slaughterhouse.

Bone in - Bn-in

Boneless - Bnls

Center Cut - Cntr Cut

Cover - Cov

Deckle - Dkle

Defatted - Dfatd

Diamond - Dia

Divided - Div

Extra - Ex

Ground - Grnd

Intermediate - Inter

Neck-off - Nk-off

Not to exceed - NTE

Oven-Prepared - Oven-Prep

Partially - Part

Peeled - Pld

Porterhouse - Prthse

Portion - Portn

Regular - Reg

Roast-Ready - Rst-Rdy

Roast - Rst

Round - Rnd

Short-Cut - Sh-Cut

Shoulder - Shld

Sirloin - Sirln

Skinned - Sknd

Special - Sp

Square-Cut - Sq-Cut

Steak - Stk

Streamlined - Strmlnd

Tenderloin - Tender

Triangle Tip - Tri Tip

Trimmed - Trmd

Untrimmed - Untrmd

(1) the part of an animal's body between the thorax and the pelvis; (2) abdominal cavity; (3) the belly
of, in, on, or for the abdomen
Abdominal Tunic
the heavy sheet of connective tissue between the flank muscles.
movement of the part away from the midline.
(1) capable of or worthy of being accepted; (2) satisfactory.
Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)
the maximum number of defects per hundred units (DHU) acceptable as a process average.
Acceptance Number (Ac)
the number in a sampling plan that indicates the maximum allowable defects permitted in the sample in order to consider the lot as meeting a specific requirement.
(1) the hip joint socket; (2) the cavity in the hip into which the distal end of the femur fits. Click Here
Achilles Tendon
heavy connective tissue, which extends from the gastrocnemius, superficial digital flexor, biceps femoris, and semitendinosus muscles into the hock. It is commonly called the gambrel cord.
a muscle protein
any material other than meat or meat byproducts that is added to a meat food product.
movement of the part toward the midline.
Adipose Tissue
the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, or any officer or employee of the Agricultural Marketing Service to whom authority has heretofore been delegated or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his or her stead.
microorganisms which live, grow, and reproduce in the presence of oxygen. Aerobes are the microorganisms which cause meat spoilage. They usually attack only exposed muscle tissue or tissue near the cut surface. Therefore, since it has more surface area, ground meat is more susceptible to aerobes than primal cuts.
(1) changing meat flavor and tenderness by holding it under controlled conditions - permitting enzymatic activity to degrade the complex proteins; (2) ripening.
toward the front of the body, or forward, sometimes known as "cranial", meaning toward the head, the opposite of posterior
a fibrous sheet or expanded tendon, giving attachment to muscular fibers and serving as the means of origin or insertion of a flat muscle; it sometimes also performs the office of a fascia for other muscle.
Artificial Casing
a synthetic casing into which sausage is stuffed. It may be inedible (e.g., bologna casing) or edible (e.g., breakfast link casing).
Artificial Coloring
a synthetic dye impregnated into casings to color the outer surfaces of formed sausages.


Back Ribs
a common name for Pork Loin, Back Ribs, IMPS Item No. 422
attaches the dorsal muscles to the spinous processes. (See Ligamentum nuchae)
the most diverse group of one-celled microorganisms which affect food. They cause many of the foreign odors associated with meat. However, not all bacteria are harmful, some help in the fermentation process in sausage production.
Ball Of Femur
the round proximal end of the femur which fits into the hip socket.
Bar Code
a computer scannable product identification code.
a common name for the fat covering a carcass or cut.
a castrated male swine.
Biceps Femoris
a major muscle in pork hams and beef bottom rounds, this muscle begins in the hip region and terminates in the hind hock of pork and the hind shank of beef. Click Here
Bill of Lading
a receipt for goods accepted for transportation.
substances which bind materials in sausage emulsions, such as, gelatinous muscle tissue, cereal flours, dried skim milk, etc.
see scapula.
Blast Freezer
a room maintained at 0 to -40 F with rapid air movement to quickly freeze product.
Blast Tunnel
a tunnel in which high velocity, very low temperature air rapidly freezes product.
the oxygenation process meat undergoes when exposed to air. Note: It is particularly important in the beef grading process and condition examination of previously vacuum-packed product.
an uncastrated male hog.
the sides of a can; usually the largest part.
dense and hard tissue forming the framework of the body; the skeleton. Bones serve as attachment points for skeletal muscles, and in the live animal they act as muscle levers.
Bottom Seal
the double seamed can end which the can manufacturer applies.
Box Maker's Certificate
a statement printed on a box which identifies the box maker and guarantees compliance with applicable regulations.
Box Style
the box design; i.e., regular slotted container (RSC), five panel folder (FPF), etc.
Boxed Meat
meat which has been cut into primals or subprimals vacuum-packed, and placed in cartons.
a muscle which extends the shoulder and flexes the neck, It originates at the head and ends at the humerus. Click Here
reduce a carcass to primal cuts.
a method of measuring fat in a natural depression of a muscle. Only the fat above the portions of the depression which is more than 3/4 inch (19 mm) in width is considered.
boned, rolled and tied (or netted).
a can defect which causes permanent distortion of the end. It is caused by excessive pressure during processing.
a pouch-like cavity or sac, usually found in the joints.
Bursting Strength
the strength of material in pounds per square inch, as measured by the Cady or Mullen tester.
the soft white cartilaginous tips on the dorsal end of the spinous processes (featherbones) of younger animals. Mineral is deposited in the buttons as the animals grow older, causing the cartilage to become calcified.


the process by which organic tissues become hardened by a deposit of calcium salts.
Calcified (scratchy) Periosteum
calcified periosteum which is rough.
Can Size
the width x the depth of cans; i.e., 311 x 401 can is 3 11/16 inches wide by 4 1/16 inches deep. The first number is expressed in inches; the last two digits are expressed in sixteenths of an inch.
Cannon Bone
the long bone between the knee or hock and the foot.
Cap Muscle
a common term whose meaning differs from one region of the country to another. (1) gracilis muscle; (2) biceps femoris; (3) gluteus medius; or (4) tensor facia latae.
the prepared or dressed body of any porcine, ovine, or bovine intended for human food. Carcasses are comprised of two sides. Note: Beef and pork carcasses are usually split into sides, but ovine, veal and calf carcasses may or may not be split.
a specialized fibrous, elastic, or hyaline connective tissue found in the carcass. It is normally found on the ends of bones and more frequently in carcasses of young animals. Cartilage ossifies as animals mature, thereby making it an important consideration when determining a carcass' skeletal maturity.
Cartilaginous Juncture
junction of the first rib and anterior extremity of the sternum.
natural or synthetic tubular sausage products container.
(1) posterior; (2) toward, or near the tail.
Caul Fat
an industry term for fat that is deposited across the peritoneum which surrounds the stomach and abdominal visceral organs. This fat looks like lace.
Cellar Trim
the lean and fat which overlies the bladebone of a pork shoulder, boston butt, boneless.
of, toward, or pertaining to, the neck.
Cervical Vertebrae
neck bones or vertebrae. Click Here
Channel Fat
adipose tissue located on the ventral side of thoracic vertebrae of beef chucks, beef ribs, and pork loins.
Chest Cavity
the thoracic cavity.
Chine Bones
the split vertebrae, resulting from the longitudinal division of the carcass into sides.
a meat or meat food product in a casing.
Chunked and Formed
a meat product consisting of formed meat chunks. The meat chunks are usually made by grinding or dicing, and then massaged (tumbled) prior to forming.
(1) a product subdivision based on essential physical characteristics that differentiate between major groups of the same species; (2) a box variety; domestic, weather resistant, etc.
of, or pertaining to the vertebrae of the tail.
Coccygeal Vertebrae
tail vertebrae. Click Here
the main protein in skin, bone, cartilage, and connective tissue.
Combination Rollers
devices containing both quality and yield grade inserts.
reduction of meat particle size; usually by grinding, dicing, or chopping.
a muscle which helps raise the head. It begins at the skull, extends medial to the splenius, and ends posterior to the scapula. Click Here
products or ingredients which FSIS has declared unfit for human consumption.
Connective Tissue
a fibrous tissue that supports and connects other tissues of an animal body.
Costal Cartilage
cartilage that attaches the distal end of the rib to the sternum. Click Here
the end panel of a can. It may be called the top, lid, packer's end, or canner's end.
toward the head or front.
Cryogenic Freezing
a refrigeration system which uses condensed gases such as liquid nitrogen and liquid carbon dioxide as the refrigerant. It is the fastest method of freezing meat.
Cubed Meat
meat which has been tenderized by a machine with two sets of sharp pointed discs which score or cut the product without tearing.
meat products which have been infused with solutions to enhance flavor, color, and to preserve the product's shelf life.
Cushion of Ham
the semimembranosus; the rounded, inside, more heavily fleshed posterior surface of ham.
a specific segment of meat.
Cutaneous Muscle
see cutaneous trunci.
Cutaneous Trunci
or cutaneous muscle is a relatively thin muscle near the skin in the live animal. It begins on the shoulder and ends in the flank where it is much thicker. The cutaneous trunci on the beef shoulder is commonly called the Shoulder Rose. The flank portion is commonly called Elephant Ears. Click Here


(1) away from the surface; (2) internal; (3) close to the center of gravity; (4) near the center of an extremity or cut.
Deep (profundus)
away from the surface.
any nonconformance of a sample with specified requirements.
Defect Classifications
the terms used to denote the severity of a defect.
sample with one or more defects.
the large sheet of muscle and facia that separates the thoracic (chest) and abdominal (belly) cavities. This muscle may be commonly called the "outside skirt." Click Here
a machine that cuts meat into relatively uniform sized cubes.
the Director of the Division, or any officer or employee of the Division to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated to act in his or her stead.
(1) Farthest from the center, point of attachment or orgin; (2) terminal. This term usually applies to the limbs e.g. the foreshank is distal to the elbow.
(1) of, on, near, or toward the back; (2) the opposite of ventral.
Double Sampling
a sampling scheme that involves using two independently drawn but related samples, a first sample and a second sample, if needed, which is added to the first to form a total sample size. The first sample must be inspected first, and if possible, a decision must be made to either accept or reject the lot. If a decision cannot be made on the first sample, a second sample is inspected; the decision to accept or reject is based on the total sample size.
Double Seam
a can's closure formed by interlocking and compressing the end and body.
Drained Weight
the weight of the product and nutritious media; water, other non-nutritious media, packaging and packing materials are excluded.
Dried Meat
substantially dehydrated fresh or cured meat. The product may be dehydrated with or without the application of heat.


E. coli
a mesophilic microorganism which is sometimes contained in fecal material. Meat containing e. coli can cause serious health problems if it is not thoroughly cooked.
Edgewise Compression Test (E.C.T.)
a measure of the edgewise strength of corrugated fiberboard.
any material which is safe for human consumption.
Edible By-Products
the properly cleaned and prepared brain, tongue, thymus gland, heart, large intestines of swine, liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, testicles (fries), and pork stomachs. Also called variety meats and edible offal.
Edible Offal
see edible by-products.
Elbow Joint
the juncture of the distal end of the humerus and the proximal ends of the radius and the ulna.
the semifluid mixture of chopped meat, water, spices, and curing agents prior to processing into sausage products. This mixture is usually stuffed into casings or molds.
inside a capsule, walled off, or set apart by a membrane.
a projection from a long bone near the articular extremity above or upon the condyle.
Epiphyseal Cartilage
the layer of cartilage which separates mature bone from immature bone; the only area in which a bone can grow in length. Note: This separation is especially important in distinguishing ovine maturity. As the foreshank ossifies, the break joints become spool joints.
Epiphyseal Plate
see epiphyseal cartilage.
Establishment Number
see inspection legend
an additive other than meat which increases weight of sausage products, e.g., cereal, flour, NFDM, etc. Binders are also extenders.
straightening of the limbs and vertebral column.
a muscle that extends or straightens a limb, the antagonist of flexor.
a mechanical device that pushes product through a tube.


a food item fashioned or constructed from one or more pieces.
Fabricated Cuts
bone-in or boneless cuts made from primal and subprimal cuts.
fashioning or constructing one or more pieces of meat into an end or intermediate meat product; i.e., cutting meat into wholesale or retail cuts, dicing, grinding, etc.
Factory End
(1) the bottom of a can; (2) sometimes called the manufacturer's end.
False Seam
a can's double seam formed by the lid and body interlock.
a sheet of connective tissue.
the sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue that forms an envelope for muscles or organs.
Fat Cap
fat on the surface of sausages or canned meat products.
Feather Bones
a common name for the split dorsal processes of the thoracic vertebrae - they resemble feathers. (See spinal processes.) Click Here
fat deposits that lie beneath the pleura and between the intercostal muscle bundles.
of, arising from, or pertaining to the femur.
common name for the thigh bone. The proximal end of the femur is attached to the pelvis and the distal end joins with the patella to form the stifle joint. (See Figure 1.) Click Here
the long thin bone that lies along the lateral surface of the tibia. Click Here
boneless portions of meat.
Financially Interested Persons
any person having a financial interest in the products involved, including but not limited to the shipper, receiver, producer, seller, buyer, or carrier of the products.
Finger Bones
a common name for the split dorsal processes of the lumbar vertebrae - they look like fingers. (See transverse spinous processes and spinous processes and Figure 1.)
Finger Meat
the intercostal meat, commonly called rib fingers, or finger trimmings.
Finger Trimmings
(1) the strips of meat (intercostal muscle) between the ribs; (2) finger meat.
the amount of fat the animal had at the time of slaughter.
the lip on the open end of a can body
Flexible Container
a receptacle which can change shape to conform to internal and external pressures. They are usually made from laminated sheets of plastic.
bending of the limbs at the joints, and bending of the vertebral column.
a can which has an abnormal convex end due to internal gas or fluid pressure. The ends of such cans bulge when struck sharply on the opposite end. They may also be called swellers or springers.
a wave of fiberboard encased in two straight exterior walls of fiberboard. They can be viewed in the cut edges of the corrugated containers.
Foreign Material
usually refers to glass, dirt, insect parts, hair, wood, metal. Note: If you find foreign material in product, Contact MPIO. Determination of acceptability of product which contains foreign material shall be made by MPIO employees.
the anterior portion of a pork side. It is separated from the posterior end (hindquarter) between the 12th and 13th ribs.
the distal portion of the front leg, including the radius, ulna, and the distal end of the humerus with their covering mucle and connective tissues. It corresponds to the human forearm.
A depression usually longitudinal in shape below the level of the surface of a part.
Four-way Pallet
a pallet constructed so that it can be lifted from any side.
Freezer Burn
a deteriorative change of frozen meat caused by dehydration. Freezer burned meat is light-colored, and fats may exhibit oxidative rancidity.
Fresh Chilled
uncured or unpreserved meat products from which the body heat was quickly removed, lowering tissue temperatures to a 30 - 40 degree F range.
Fresh Frozen
frozen, uncured meat.
Fresh Meat
meats which have not been cured or frozen.
(1) the face, first, or most anterior part
Frontal Plane
divides the body into dorsal (upper) and ventral (lower) portions along the long axis of the body.
according to IMPS, meat reduced to 0 degree F (-17.8 degree C) or below. Industry considers meat which is 28 degree F or less as frozen.
an acronym for Food Safety Inspection Service.


a muscle found in the hindshank. It begins at the distal end of the femur and ends at the hock joint where it attaches to a tendon. Click Here
a tasteless, odorless protein obtained by the partial hydrolysis of collagen derived from the skin, white connective tissue and bones of animals. It is used as an emulsifying agent in many food products.
a female swine that has not farrowed.
a mixture, usually gelatin, sugar or starch (seasoned or flavored) that is applied to the surface of a cooked ham and firmed or congealed by direct heat.
Gluteus Medius
(1) commonly called the "jump muscle" in live bovine. It extends from the hip to the femur; (2) a major muscle in the anterior end of the ham and the posterior end of the pork loin; (3) where humans get injections in the hip
a wheeled metal box hand truck used to transport product.
(1) as a noun, this term means an important commercial subdivision of a product, based on certain definite and preference determining factors, such as, but not limited to finish, conformation, and quality in meats; (2) as a verb, this term means to determine the class, grade, or other quality of a product according to applicable standards for meat products; (3) the bursting strength of fiberboard containers; e.g. 200, 275, etc.
Green Meat
fresh, uncured meat, including the weight of the meat prior to trimming or pumping.
Green Weight
the weight of product prior to pumping or processing.
cartilage or tough fibrous connective tissue.
Gross Weight
the weight of product plus its packaging, packing, closure materials, and shipping container.


Half Moon
a common term for the pectorales profundi.
Hanging Tender
the thick muscle dorsal attachments of the diaphragm. It begins in the lumbar and extends to the posterior end of the thoracic cavity in beef - it is ventral to the chine bone. The hanging tender is commonly called the pillar.
Heart Cap
the stumps of the major vessels, the auricles and the attached fat at the base of an untrimmed heart.
Heart Fat
the fat in the anterior end of the thoracic cavity.
the posterior end of a pork side. It is separated from the anterior end (forequarter) by cutting the side between the 10th and 11th ribs. The pork hindquarter contains the loin, ham, and side.
the distal portion of the hind leg, including the tibia, fibula, their covering muscle, and connective tissues. The hindshank corresponds to the human shin.
Hock Joint
the joint between the distal end of the tibia and the proximal end of the metatarsus. It corresponds to the human heel.
Hot fat trim
a method of removing adipose tissue. The process is usually performed prior to carcass refrigeration.
an acronym for hotels, restaurants, and institutions.
the long bone of the upper forelimb, extending from the shoulder joint to the elbow joint. Commonly called the "arm bone," the humerus corresponds to the upper arm in humans. Click Here


(1) the anterior end of the pelvis; (2) commonly called the "pin bone" or "hip bone." Click Here
Immediate Container
the container or material that is in direct contact with the enclosed product.
before in relation to another structure.
a muscle which abducts and flexes the shoulder. It begins along the ridge of the scapula and ends at the humerus. Click Here
food or drink taken into the stomach.
the introduction of any curing solutions into the muscles by injection, stitching, or pumping; also known as "pumped."
Inspection Legend
the establishment number, official mark, or statement authorized by FSIS regulations, which is placed on a product or product container indicating that the product has been inspected and passed for use as human food.
situated, positioned, or attached between the ribs. Intercostales interni - Intercostales externi
Intercostal Muscle
(1) muscle tissue which is located between the ribs; (2) intercostal meat or "rib fingers."
an acronym for individually quick-frozen cuts, individually frozen at very low temperatures immediately after processing.


(1) boneless diced meat that is normally placed on skewers along with vegetables and grilled; (2) commonly referred to as brochette or cube meat.
fit to be eaten or used, according to Hebraic or Talmudic dietary or ceremonial law.


L*A*B* color model
the secretion of milk by mammary tissue.
(1) pertaining to the side; (2) external; (3) outward; (4) situated at, proceeding from, or directed to the side; (5) away from the median plane.
Latissimus dorsi
a wide, triangular muscle that flexes the shoulder. It originates at the lumbar and thoracic vertebrae and ends at the humerus. Click Here
Leaf Fat
the heavy layer of fat that lines the inside surfaces of the abdominal cavities of hog carcasses.
ruptured containers which have leaked.
Ligamentum Nuchae
a thick, elastic band of ligament imbedded between the muscle bundles on the dorsal surface of the neck, extending from the processes of the first few thoracic vertebrae to a bony crest on the upper rear of the skull; commonly called the "backstrap."
Linea alba
white line; a fibrous band running vertically the entire length of the center of the anterior abdominal wall, receiving the attachments of the oblique and transverse abdominal muscles.
end seam defect in cans. A condition in which a portion of the cover curl or body flange has not been tucked properly into the end seam.
Listeria monocytogenes
a bacteria common to cows and sheep, which causes severe health problems for humans. Listeria grows optimally between 30 - 37 degrees C and can grow between 3 - 45 degrees C.
a packinghouse term used to describe printing that has been baked onto the outer surface. Lithographing is not an accurate term, because the printing is usually applied by a silk-screen process rather than a true lithographic process.
a meat food product in loaf form.
Longissimus dorsi
(1) a major muscle in the pork loin; beef rib and loin; lamb, veal and calf rack (2) the longest and largest muscle in the back; (3) commonly called the beef "rib eye". Click Here
Longus colli
commonly called the "rope muscle," it begins near the head and ends in the thoracic cavity. The longus colli flexes the head and neck; it extends along the medial side of the cervical and the first few thoracic vertebrae. Click Here
(1) a collection of units of products that have the same item description, weight range, date of acceptance, etc., and offered for examination to determine compliance during a single workshift; (2) an amount of canned product produced in a specific time period as indicated by a can code.
Lot Size
the number of units (pounds, pieces, etc.) from which samples will be drawn to determine compliance.
(1) of, pertaining to, or located within that area of the carcass between the last rib and the hip bone; (2) pertaining to the spine or back.
Lumbar Vertebrae
vertebrae of the loin, which are between the last rib and the hip bone. Note: Normally, porcine and ovine carcasses have seven lumbar vertebrae, but bovine carcasses have only six. Click Here
the clear yellowish, slightly alkaline fluid contained in the lymphatic vessels.
Lymph Gland
structures located along the lymph vessels. Lymph glands function as filters for the fluid lymph.


Mammary Tissue
a gland that secretes milk.
(1) fat deposited interspersed within lean muscle; (2) a quality indicator; (3) intramuscular fat.
a tumbling process which breaks the cell walls of meats, allowing the natural binders to exude and permitting muscle fibers to encapsulate water and fat molecules (bind), and/or allow different muscles to adhere together.
refers to a grouping of carcasses as determined by evaluation of size, shape, and ossification of the bones and cartilages and the color and texture of lean flesh.
Measle Meat
a condition caused by tissue encystment by the intermediate (cysticercosis) stage of tapeworms. Affected carcasses have red spots on their external surface. "Beef Measles" are caused by the tapeworm Taenia saginata, "pork measles" by Taenia solium, and "sheep measles" by Taenia ovis.
the edible part of the muscle of porcine, which is skeletal or which is formed in the tongue, diaphragm, heart, or esophagus, and which is intended for human food. The meat may or may not include the accompanying and overlying fat and portions of bone, skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels that normally accompany the muscle tissue and they are not separated from it in the dressing process. The term "meat" does not include the muscle found in the lips, snout, or ears. Note: Most Meat Grading specifications exclude meat from the tongue, esophagus, and heart. According to the Agricultural Marketing Service, meat is the product from a dressed carcass.
Meat Byproducts
any part fit for human food, other than meat, derived from one or more cattle, sheep, swine or goats - including but not limited to such organs and parts as livers, kidneys, sweetbreads, brains, lungs, spleens, stomachs, tripe, lips, snouts, and ears.
Meat Food Product
any article of food, or any article intended for or capable of being used as human food, which is derived or prepared in whole or in substantial and definite part from any portion of any bovine, ovine, or porcine, except such articles as organotherapeutic substances, meat juice, meat extract, and the like, which are only for medicinal purposes and are advertised only to the medical profession.
Meat Food Product Loaves
see Non-specific Loaf.
(1) near the median plane or body part; (2) located along or toward the middle.
Medial Plane
(1) divides the carcass into equal right and left halves; (2) passes through the vertebral column dividing the body into two equal halves.
a common term for the spleen.
a folding of the peritoneum that suspends the intestine. (See peritoneum.)
microorganisms whose optimum growth temperature is between 35 - 37 degree C (body temperature).
bones of the lower knee.
very small living cells including bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Individual organisms can be seen only with the aid of a microscope.
multi-celled microorganisms which produce toxins. They usually reproduce by sporing. Even though individuals are not evident without a microscope, large numbers may appear as a wooly growth on meat and other food products.
Mucosal Lining
the membrane that lines the intestinal tract and body cavities which are exposed to the air.
Multifidus dorsi
a muscle which is adjacent to the spinal vertebrae and which extends from the shoulder to the hip region. Click Here


a part of the belly on a pork carcass.
a common term for the cervical vertebrae.
Net Weight
the weight of a container's contents after the weight of packaging and packing materials are subtracted.
Non-specific Loaf
a loaf produced with no restrictions on water, cereal, NFDM, starch, corn syrup, etc. There are limitations on nitrate, nitrite, and other chemical additives. The name of such product may not refer to meat. Some common names of non-specific loaves are, pickle and pimento loaf, olive loaf, Dutch loaf, etc. Note: Such products are certified in accordance with IMPS Item No. 815, Meat Food Product Loaves.


Obliquus Abdominis Externus
a muscle that originates from the last few ribs and extends posteriorly and ventrally to the flank region. Click Here
Obliquus Abdominis Internus
a muscle that originates near the last rib and extends anteriorly and ventrally to the flank region. Where both the obliquus abdominis externus and internus are present, it is medial to the externus. Click Here
the edible organs or parts from the thoracic and abdominal cavities and the tongue. (See edible by-product.)
One-hundred-percent Sampling
a method of examination in which all items in a lot are examined. Items not fully complying with the detailed item description shall be rejected.
making an impression on, or stimulating, any of the special senses: smell, sight, taste, and touch.
Origin Inspection
an examination of product prior to shipment or transfer to the purchaser.
the formation of bone or a bony substance; the conversion of fibrous tissue or cartilage into bone by the deposition of hard mineral material, especially calcium and phosphorus. Note: This concept is especially important in determining skeletal maturity.


material used to separate and protect layers of product.
1) the measure of a product's ability to please the sense of taste; (2) appealing, delicious, appetizing, savory, or tasty.
examination by the sense of touch.
a gland located in the duodenal loop of animals, which secretes insulin.
an enzyme which breaks down meat protein, thereby tenderizing the meat; it is contained in papaya juice.
extending in the same direction at the same distance apart at every point, so as to never meet.
organisms that live and reproduce at the expense of their host. They are killed by proper cooking.
common name for the knee cap; in the live animal, it protects the knee joint. It is adjacent to the posterior end of the femur on the ventral side. Click Here
a formed ground meat portion, with or without extenders or binders.
in or on the chest cavity; refers to bones, muscles, or body parts in the breast or chest
Pectoral Limb
front limb; e.g., shoulder or front leg.
Pectorales profundi
a porcine muscle which is commonly called the "half moon" due to its appearance. It extends from near the 3rd cervical vertebrae to near the 12th rib. Click Here
Pelvic Fat
fat found in the pelvic region.
Pelvic Limb
hind limb; e.g., round, ham, or hind leg.
the fused ilium, ischium, and pubis which make up the hip.
the perimeter, external boundary, or surface of an organ, cut, carcass, etc.
the thin serous membrane covering the inside of the flank and the abdomen.
at right angles to a given plane or line.
a measure of alkalinity or acidity of a product.
bone between the two joints in the fingers or toes.
a group of chemicals used to increase the water retaining capacity of meat tissue.
(1) any brine, vinegar, or spicy solution used to preserve food flavor; (2) curing solution.
the dried berries of Pimento officinalis, a tropical American tree. These berries are used to make Allspice. NOTE: Pimentos are usually more expensive than pimientos. So, when certifying meat food product loaf, Pimento, Imps Item No. 815, check the ingredients label carefully!
the red, fleshy fruit of the cone-shaped thick-walled Spanish sweet pepper. Pimientos are used in various meat products.
Pin Bone
a common term for the anterior point of the hip; ilium. Click Here
Pituitary Gland
the small oval gland attached to a short stalk on the base (ventral surface) of the brain. This gland is sometimes used for pharmaceutical production of the hormone pituitrin.
Pizzle Eye
(1) the root of the penis; (2) the white surface area remaining when the ligamentous attachments (the crura) are cut through when the penis is removed from male carcasses. These crurae are not naturally present in female carcasses. So, their presence provides positive sex identification of a carcass or side.
the top or horizontal view of an object.
Plane, coronal
(frontal plane), dividing the body into dorsal and ventral portions.
Plane, horizontal
(transverse), across the body at right angles to the coronal and sagittal planes.
Plane, median
(sagittal or vertical), drawn through the midline of the body that divides the body into right and left halves.
the measurement of fat above the plane created by two adjacent muscles. The seam fat between the involved muscles is not considered.
the thin serous thoracic cavity membrane. The parietal pleura lines the inside surface of the rib cage. The visceral pleura covers the outer surfaces of the lungs.
pertaining to that part of the leg behind the knee or stifle joint.
Popliteal Lymph Gland
lies in the pocket of fat on the outside round, along the natural seam separating the inside and outside round.
of or pertaining to swine.
(1) edible meat from swine carcasses; (2) classes of pork include barrows, gilts, sows, stags, and boars.
Pork primal cuts
boston butt, loin, ham (leg), belly, spareribs, picnic shoulder, and jowl.
Pork wholesale cuts
boston butt, loin, ham, belly, spareribs, picnic shoulder, and jowl.
Portion Control
the process of preparing cuts of meat or portions of meat food products to predetermined individual weights (portions).
Portion Control Cuts
meat that complies with specified weights or thickness tolerances. This is usually achieved by cutting, slicing, forming, etc.
located behind a center point or towards the rear. (see caudal)
done, occurring, or collected after death.
(1) fit or suitable for drinking; (2) water supplies that have been tested and determined to meet or exceed the appropriate health authority standards for drinking water.
located cranially to (in front of) the femur.
Prefemoral Lymph Gland
lies in the posterior and ventral end of the flank. It is sometimes exposed when the ham and loin are separated.
Preliminary Class Identification
an official precursory mark placed directly above the preliminary quality or yield grade stamp. (See MGC Instruction 918-1, G-20, Exhibits.)
Preliminary Quality Grade Identification
an official precursory mark that indicates a carcass' quality grade. (See MGC Instruction 918-1, G-20, Exhibits.)
Prepared Meats
wholesome meat products that have been dried, cured, smoked, cooked, ground, seasoned, flavored, or any combination of such procedures, and are virtually free of substances other than meat or meat by-products.
located cranially to (in front of) the scapula.
Prescapular Lymph Gland
the lymph gland which is located cranially to (in front of) the scapula.
Primal Cuts
the wholesale cuts of meat cut from a carcass or side.
Primary Container
(1) the immediate receptacle containing the product; (2) the package that protects, preserves, and maintains the product. It may be metal, glass, fiber, wood, textile, plastic, paper, or any other suitable type of material, and may be supplemented by liners, overwraps, or other protective materials.
a projection or outgrowth.
the manufacturing of meat products from carcass meats by drying, curing, smoking, cooking, seasoning, flavoring, or any combination of such processes, with or without fabricating.
the turning downward of the palm or sole of the forefoot.
Protuberance of the Femur
the lateral (side or external) end of the femur bone; the greater trochanter.
(1) situated nearest the center of the body or the point of attachment of a limb, etc.; e.g., the femur is proximal to the tibia; (2) the opposite of distal.
(1) acronym for pale, soft, and exudative pork; (2) undesirable fresh pork cuts, which have distinct separations between the muscles. This condition is due to stress. PSE pork does not have the ability to bind with water.
Psoas Major
a muscle that helps flex the hip. It originates in the anterior end of the lumbar region and extends along the lumbar vertebrae; becomes part of the ilio-psoas which attaches to the femur. The psoas major is the major muscle in the tenderloin. Click Here
Psoas Minor
a thin muscle that extends along the psoas major. Click Here
microorganisms that can grow at reduced temperatures. Growth commonly occurs in refrigerated food products, e.g., meat at temperatures less than 15 degrees C.
the small bony cranial floor of the pelvis. Click Here
Pullman Style
a term commonly applied to product canned in long cans which are 4x4 inches square.
the juices exuded from fresh, cooked or cured meat cuts. These juices may be found in product containers.


Quality Grade
a designation based on those characteristics of meat which predict the palatability characteristics of the lean.
the process of cutting carcass sides into quarters.


relating to the radius or any structures named from it, or to any radius.
(1) a long bone of the forelimb, extending between the humerus and the carpal bones, it is fused with the ulna; (2) the distance from the center of a circle to the periphery. Click Here
Random Sampling
a technique of selecting a sample from a group so that every single item in the group has an equal chance of being selected as a sample unit. Note: It is extremely important that you prepare sample plans in a manner which allows each member of the group an equal chance of being selected. Otherwise, the producer can "stack the deck," or put defective items in location where you are not selecting samples (e.g. the bottom layer of the pallet etc.) So, the samples which are on the bottom of the pallet must be examined even if the entire pallet has to be disassembled. When random sampling is use, the results should be statistically sound. If properly performed, the random sampling will accurately reflect the percentage of errors and save times versus the 100% sampling method.
the difference between the highest and the lowest measurement.
the digital flexor muscles in beef. This muscle is commonly called the "mouse" in pork.
Ready to Eat
a product that has been heated to a minimum regulatory temperature and labeled as "fully cooked" or has been thermal stabilized (canned).
Rectus Abdominis
a muscle originating at the costal cartilage and sternum. It attaches to the prepubic tendon, which attaches to the hip. Click Here
Rectus Femoris
one of the quadriceps femoris muscles which extends the stifle. It originates from the ilium and extends to the patella. Click Here
Rejection Number (Re)
the number in a sampling plan that indicates the minimum number of defects in a sample that will cause a lot to fail a specific AQL.
(1) a material that remains in place or has an effect of long duration; (2) that which is left after part is taken away (e.g., salt remaining after the moisture has evaporated from brine or protein on an improperly cleaned gondola).
a horizontal or vertical tank used to cook canned product by subjecting the filled and sealed cans to high temperature steam under pressure.
previously rejected product that is used to produce new products; e.g., broken patties reground to make new patties. Note: The percentage of defective product permitted to be reworked is usually stated in the specification.
a muscle that extends the head. It originates near the skull and extends medially to the trapezius. The rhomboideus ends posterior to the scapula. Click Here
Rib Bones
elongated bones that form the lateral walls of the thoracic (chest) cavity; they attach dorsally to the thoracic vertebrae and ventrally to the sternum.
Rib Fingers
a common name for intercostal muscles or meat between the ribs.
Ridge of Blade Bone
the raised portion of the scapula.
Rigid Container
a sturdy vessel, which can withstand limited internal and external pressure without damage.
a carcass that exhibits stiffness due to ionic locking of actin and myosin muscle filaments
Rigor Mortis
(1) rigor of muscle that occurs soon after death; (2) stiffness or rigidity of a carcass resulting from the coagulation of cell protoplasm proteins. The condition remains until the muscle tissue begins to deteriorate.
Rope Muscle
a common name for the longus colli. Click Here
pivoting on the long axis.
Rough Cuts
(1) the less desirable primal cuts of a carcass, including but not limited to the flank, navel, brisket, and shank; (2) subprimal cut with major muscles removed.
Round Dressed
an unsplit carcass.


of, pertaining to, or located near the sacral vertebrae.
Sacral Vertebrae
vertebrae of the sacrum; they are posterior to the lumbar vertebrae and anterior to the caudal vertebrae.. Click Here
Sacrosciatic Ligament
the heavy, wide connective tissue that helps form the lateral walls of the hip.
(1) the triangular shaped bone formed by the fused vertebrae that are wedged dorsally between the hip bones; (2) the section of the vertebral column that extends between the two sides of the pelvis from the lumbar vertebrae to the coccygeal vertebrae.
Sagittal Plane
a position parallel but lateral to the median plane.
a bacteria contained in all raw foods of animal origin. It causes salmonellosis and is the most common food-borne pathogen. Most people who are infected get diarrhea, and many people have upset stomachs, chills, fever, or a headache. Food handling mistakes such as improper cooling, undercooking, infected person touching cooked food, inadequate reheating of cooked and chilled foods, improper hot storage of cooked foods, cross-contamination of cooked foods by raw foods, inadequate cleaning of equipment, and eating raw meat or poultry cause most cases of salmonellosis.
Sample Size (n)
the number of sample units to be included in the sample.
Sample Unit
an individual item (roast, chop, steak, etc.) or designated quantity of product to be part of a sample.
a muscle which helps flex the hip. It extends from the hip to the tibia. Click Here
the large, flat, uppermost bone of the pectoral limb; commonly called the blade bone. Click Here
1) a cut into a meat product; (2) a line in a cardboard box.
Scotch Tender
a common name for the Supraspinatus muscle. (See Chuck Tender.)
Scratchy Periosteum
see calcified scratchy periosteum.
(1) cutting through all the ribs of a hog carcass to facilitate separation of the loin and the spareribs. (See Figure 2)
the junction created by free edges of a fiberboard container.
Seam Fat
fat deposited between muscle bundles.
Secondary Container
the container in which one or more primary containers are packed.
Sectioned and Formed
a meat product consisting of closely trimmed, massaged, formed, complete muscles (or muscle systems) e.g., sectioned and formed hams. This product may be labeled as "Ham."
Seedy Bellies
pork bellies that have visible patches of grey or black mammary tissue in them.
Semi-rigid Container
a vessel which maintains its shape during handling at atmospheric pressure, but cannot withstand internal or external pressure, e.g., foil pouches or trays.
one of the muscles which helps extend the hip. It originates from the hip and extends to the tibia. Click Here
one of the muscles which helps extend the hip. It originates from the hip and extends to the tibia.
a thin wall dividing two cavities or masses of softer tissue.
resembling or composed of blood serum.
Serous Membrane
a thin connective tissue that lines most of the closed cavities of the carcass and covers the outer surface of the viscera.
Serratus Ventralis
a wide muscle which helps move the scapula. It extends from the cervical vertebrae to a point along the ribs which is just dorsal to the sternum. It extends as far back as the tenth costal cartilage. Click Here
the application of a chain to the hind leg in preparation for hoisting a carcass to an overhead rail.
indicates mandatory requirements.
the distal end of the fore and hind legs of a dressed carcass.
Shelf Life
the length of time a meat product remains suitable for consumption.
Shipping Container
the receptacle or covering in which one or more immediate containers of products are packed for transportation.
a word used to identify an advisable procedure.
Shoulder Joint
where the humerus and scapula meet.
Shoulder Stick
a bleeding stick wound that extends into the shoulder muscles, causing hemorrhage and discoloration.
weight loss from meat that may occur during storage, processing, transportation, handling, etc.
Shrink Wrap
plastic wrapping material that tightly fits meat, cartons, or containers. The fit is usually enhanced by subjecting the material to moist heat.
product weight lost during storage, usually due to dehydration. (See shrink.)
(1) one half of a split carcass; (2) the intact fore and hindquarters; (3) the portions of a carcass after it has been split longitudinally, usually from the posterior end to the anterior end.
Side Seam
the seam formed by connecting the edges of a can's body blank to form the can body.
Silent Cutter
the commercial name for a machine that mixes and grinds meat ingredients. Ingredients are placed into a revolving tub which carries the ingredients into rapidly rotating knives that chop and emulsify the material.
Simultaneous Grading
carcasses are evaluated for both quality and yield grade designations.
Single Sampling Plan
a sampling scheme where the decision to accept or reject an inspection lot with respect to a specified requirement is made after the inspection of a single sample. A single sampling plan consists of a single sample size with associated acceptance and rejection criteria.
Skeletal Muscles
muscles that are responsible for movement of the live animal.
a collection of bones and cartilage that support and protect animal tissues.
wooden, plastic, or metal pins used to hold meat in place.
a common name for diaphragm or transversus abdominal muscles.
a container that is not filled to capacity. Note: Improper filling often results in product damage because the container may become crushed during shipping.
a female swine that has farrowed one or more litters of pigs.
Specific Loaf
a loaf that must be made from meat. There are limitations on water, cereal, etc.
contractual descriptions concerning the class, grade, other quality, quantity, or condition of products approved by the Administrator and available for use by industry regardless of the origin of the descriptions.
Spinal Canal
in the live animal, the canal or tube formed by the vertebral arches containing the spinal nerve cord. (See Spinal Grove.)
Spinal Cord
the thick trunk of nerve that extends down the spinal canal from the base of the brain to the pelvic region of the carcass.
Spinal Grove
the depression in a carcass' chine bone, which may or may not contain portions of the spinal cord.
Spinalis dorsi
a muscle that extends along the cervical and thoracic vertebrae - commonly called the "ribeye" or "cap" muscle. Click Here
Spinous Processes
the blade-like extension from the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the spinal vertebrae. The dorsal spinous processes are commonly called featherbones. The transverse spinous processes are commonly called fingerbones. Click Here
the large highly vascular, ductless visceral organ in the upper left abdomen, laying near or across the surface of the stomach. The spleen modifies and regulates the cellular components of the blood.
a muscle that originates from the skull and ends in the shoulder; it helps extend the head and neck. The splenius is lateral to the complexus. Click Here
see sweller or flipper.
St. Louis Style Spare Ribs
spareribs with breast bone, ventral portion of costal cartilage, and flap removed. (See Item No. 416A - Pork Spareribs, St. Louis Style)
an animal that was castrated after developing definite masculine characteristics.
a bacteria present in meat and other foods that are held for 5 hours or more in temperatures between 45 - 100 degree F. Staphylococcus can be present in precooked foods that have been mishandled or handled by an infected person. Infection can be prevented by proper refrigeration and food handler hygiene.
Stationary Lot Sampling
the process of randomly selecting sample units from a lot whose production has been completed. This type of lot is usually stored in a warehouse or in some other storage area and is offered "in total" for inspection.
Stationary Lot Sampling Plan
a plan stating the number of sample units to be included in the sample as well as the corresponding acceptance and rejection criteria. The decision to accept or reject a lot with respect to a specified acceptable quality level (AQL) is made after the inspection of a sample or when the number of defects exceeds the acceptance number.
completely free of living organisms.
the bone and cartilage that forms the ventral surface of the ribcage and serves as the ventral attachment of the distal ends of the ribs. Click Here
Stifle Joint
(1) the juncture of the distal end of femur and the proximal end of the tibia/fibula and the patella; (2) the joint between the hip and the hock. The stifle joint corresponds to the human knee.
metal fasteners used to form the joints or close fiberboard containers. These machine-formed fasteners are drawn from a wire spool.
a tubular open-woven, cloth material used to contain meat during processing, especially during smoking or to protect it during shipping.
a mechanical device used to stuff sausage emulsions into casings.
Sub-Primal Cuts
subdivision of primal cuts. Sub-primals can be further divided into portion cuts.
a muscle medial to the scapula. It is small at the rib end and increases in size toward the anterior end of the blade bone. Click Here
external; of, or on the surface.
Superficial (superficialis)
toward the surface.
Superficial digital flexor
a muscle that helps extend the hock; it lies adjacent to the gastrocnemius, attaches to the posterior end of the femur, and ends at the tendon of achilles. Click Here
the turning upward of the palm or sole of the forefoot.
a muscle that originates at the scapula and ends at the humerus; it is immediately anterior and dorsal to the medial ridge of the blade bone.
a can which has both ends convexly distended due to interior pressures. May also be called flipper or springer.
Synovial Fluid
the clear viscous liquid that lubricates joints and fills various bursa of the carcass.


Tech Data Sheet
(TDS) a document issued by the Department of Defense to modify procurement specifications.
the tough fibrous connective tissue at the ends of muscle bundles that attach the muscle to bone or cartilage.
Tensor fasciae antibrachii
one of the triceps brachii muscles, which helps extend the elbow. It begins at the scapula and humerus and ends at the ulna. Click Here
Tensor Fasciae Latae
a major muscle of the bottom sirloin. It begins in the extreme ventral side of the knuckle and ends in the bottom sirloin butt.
a male gland that produces sperm.
Thaw Rigor
microorganisms which grow between 45 - 80 degree C.
(1) thoracic cavity; (2) the chest; (3) the cavity enclosed by the rib cage and the diaphragm.
Thymus Gland
a ductless gland-like structure located in or near the thoracic inlet, which reaches a maximum development in the young animal and then regresses in size with age.
the larger and thicker of the two bones of the hind leg between the stifle and the hock. Click Here
crosswise; lying across the long axis of the body or of a part.
Transverse Plane
(1) divides the carcass into cranial and caudal segments; (2) perpendicular to median plane and to the long axis of the body. (e.g., mounted deer head).
Transverse Processes
spinous processes; commonly called finger bones. Click Here
a muscle which helps move the scapula. The trapezius is triangular shaped. It extends along the spinal column from the cervical vertebrae to the last few thoracic vertebrae. Click Here
1) a metal rack used to hang hams, bacon, sausage and other items during the smoking process; (2) a metal rack suspended from a trolley, used to hang primal cuts; (3) a device used to spread the hind legs of carcasses and to provide a point of attachment for hoisting the carcass to a rail.
Triceps brachii, long head
the largest of the triceps brachii muscles which helps extend the elbow. It begins at the scapula and ends at the ulna. Click Here
a ball of the femur on which the hipbone turns in the socket.
Truncated Cans
cans that have parallel ends.
a knob on the bone.
a slight elevation from the surface of a bone giving attachment to a muscle or ligament.
acronym for Textured Vegetable Protein. (See VPP.)


the longer, thinner posterior-lateral portion of the fused radius/ulna of the forelimb (shank). Click Here


1) devoid of matter; (2) a space that has less than atmospheric pressure.
Vacuum Packed
meat cuts encased in sealed containers that are devoid of air. This process reduces shrinkage and extends the product's shelf life.
Variety Meats
see edible by-products.
Vastus lateralis
one of the quadriceps muscles, which originates in the bottom sirloin butt and attaches posteriorly to the patella. It is lateral to the rectus femoris. The vastus lateralis helps extend the stifle. Click Here
Vastus medialis
one of the quadriceps muscles, which originates in the bottom sirloin butt and attaches posteriorly to the patella. It is medial to the rectus femoris. The vastus medialis helps extend the stifle. Click Here
a vessel through which blood passes from various organs or parts back to the heart.
Vein Steak
a cut from the hip end of the sirloin strip or short loin that exhibits a piece of connective tissue separating the loin eye (longissimus dorsi) from the small muscle (gluteus medius) lying immediately beneath the surface fat. The connective tissue forms an irregular half-moon shape and may appear on both sides of the steak.
away from the back or top line of the body.
(1) toward the belly; (2) on or toward the lower or bottom surface.
the bones that make up the spinal column (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and caudal vertebrae), extending from the head to the tail. The split surfaces of the vertebrae that appear when a carcass is split are commonly called "chine bones."
Vertebral Column
see vertebrae.
intracellular parasites that are reproduced by the host cell. They do not spoil foods, but they are important in transmitting foodborne diseases.
the internal organs and glands contained in the thoracic and abdominal cavities.
acronym for vegetable protein product; commonly called TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein); granular or flaked vegetable products, which can be rehydrated and assimilated into meat products.


Water Activity (aW)
(1) free moisture in a product; (2) water vapor pressure divided by the vapor of pure water at the same temperature.
Water Added
cured or smoked meat products whose weight after processing exceeds the green weight due to the added curing solution. (See PFF.)
a packinghouse term for the muscular layer of the esophagus.
Wholesale Cuts
cuts that are traded in the pork industry; cuts that are divided into retail cuts.


single-celled microorganisms that cause fermentation, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Yield Grade
a designation which reflects the estimated yield of retail cuts that may be obtained from a pork, beef, lamb, yearling mutton, or mutton carcass.


Meat Grading and Certification Branch Glossary of Terms, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington D.C. January 2003