National beef market basket survey.
Additional Document Info
Beef retail cases in supermarkets in 12 cities across the United States were surveyed for fat thickness measurements, cut representation, package weights and counts, and case space allocation. Randomly selected retail cuts were purchased and transported to Texas A&M University, where they were dissected into separable components. Samples of ground beef were obtained for chemical analysis. Over 42% of the beef retail cuts had no external fat, and approximately 75% of all cuts were boneless. The overall mean fat thickness for all retail cuts in the beef case was .31 cm, and the overall mean fat thickness for steaks and roasts from the major primals - chuck, rib, loin, and round - was .38 cm. The average percentage of separable lean was 79.0%, separable fat was 12.3%, and bone and connective tissue was 8.7%. Retail cuts had more than twice as much separable seam fat as separable external fat. Beef steaks and roasts had 27.4% less separable fat than values from USDA Agriculture Handbook 8-13. Of the ground beef surveyed, 37% was regular, 40% was lean, and over 22% was extra lean. Retail ground beef had approximately 10% less fat than values from USDA Agriculture Handbook 8-13.