Retail

Today’s consumers are looking for nutritious meat proteins that fit into their active lifestyle.

Veal is versatile, nutritious and delicious and can be made in a variety of preparation methods and recipes.

Grading

Veal and calf carcasses are graded on a composite evaluation of two general grade factors: conformation (proportion of lean, fat, and bone in carcass); and quality of the lean. In addition, the color of the lean carcasses is key in differentiating between veal, calf and beef carcasses.

There are five grades for veal: prime, choice, good, standard, utility.

Grading is voluntary; a plant pays to have its meat graded.

When veal is graded, a shield-shaped purple mark is stamped on the carcass. With today's close trimming at the retail level, however, you may not see the USDA grade shield on the meat cuts at the store. Instead, retailers put stickers with the USDA grade shield on individual packages of meat. In addition, grade shields and inspection legends may appear on bags containing larger wholesale cuts.

Retail Cuts of Fresh Veal

There are seven basic major cuts into which veal is separated: leg (round), sirloin, loin, rib, shoulder, fore shank and breast.

When examining a package of veal, the label can help the purchaser identify the cut of meat in the package.

For example, a label stating, "veal rib chop" identifies the packaged meat as "veal," the primal or large wholesale cut from the "rib," and the name of the retail cut, "chop." This information helps consumers know what type of preparation method to use. The most readily available cuts of veal today include rib chops, loin chops, cutlets, veal for stew, arm steak, blade steak, rib roast, breast, shanks, and round steak.

Major Retailer Suppliers:

Funded by the Beef Checkoff.