Carcass beef is normally sold by its "hanging" weight. This weight includes approximately 25% fat and bone. The US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has developed voluntary grades for quality and yield of carcass beef. Quality grades relate to tenderness and flavor and include, in decreasing order: USDA Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner; with Prime being the most favorable grade. Consumers should disregard any other descriptive meat terms other than government grading. For example: "U.S. Fancy", "USDA Grade A", and "Premium" are not government grades.
Consumers are advised to:
1. Understand all costs that are included in the price per pound such as processing and finance charges. Don't be influenced by a "FREE" bonus offer of pork chops, turkey, chicken, etc. Their cost may be included in the price of what you buy.
2. Arrange to select meat and have it cut on the same day while you are present. Most reliable dealers will allow you to be present when your selection of meat is cut and wrapped.
3. Be cautious of such phrases as "beef bundles" or "steak packages". Make sure the representative specifies in writing the USDA grade, the type and the quantity of the various cuts.
4. Read and understand the terms of the contract before signing.
FTC TRADE REGULATION RULE
The FTC's Trade Regulation Rule states a consumer has three business days to cancel a contract (for over $25.00) signed at a private residence, motel, or other temporary location. This "cooling-off" period applies to cash as well as credit transactions. The seller is REQUIRED to provide the buyer "Notice of Cancellation" papers at the time of the transaction. (FTC Rule 16-CFR-429 and IN Code 24-5-10-1 through 18 and IN Uniform Credit Code 24-4.5-2-501 & 502).