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Why have product specifications?

A detailed product specification will ensure that you receive the meat item that you want by clearly describing: specific category and class of animal, product description, specification cutting lines / additional trim, grade or carton brand name, primal weight range/ portion weight & tolerance, yield, packaging and handling condition of product. All these components make up a product specification that will ensure what you order is what you get every time.


When specifying the category of the animal, firstly consider how the product will be used. By selecting the appropriate category you will ensure that the product derived from that animal class will fit the purpose.


Check with your supplier to ensure that the product you require is available before placing your order. Ready supplies of certain meat items are restricted at times of high demand and suppliers may not be able to fill your order, alternative products might be available to you that fit the purpose.


Primal cuts generally require further preparation for the removal of excess fats, gristle, sinew and some cases, bone portions. Your supplier can trim a primal cut meat item any way that you require but be aware that further trimming will cost you more arising from additional weight loss. Check with your supplier what options are available to you and select the one that suites the product purpose. Be informed before you place your order by referencing specification publications that are available to the Australian meat industry, including this document.


Portion control meat items (unlike the primal cut) are prepared to a given specification. The food service industry recognises the importance of a consistent supply of portion control products and by specifying a detail specification requirement for portion size and weight tolerance offers the food service sector many advantages.

For example:

  • Improved cost control as the weight of the required meat portion is established.
  • Better quality control as the shrinkage factor of the portioned item is established along with the cooking time and tenderness level.
  • Consistency of preparation and presentation in maintained as the size of the portioned item is standardised.
  • Eliminates the need for costly preparation and trimming of whole primal in a food service environment.

For further information on product specification refer to the "Users' Guide to Australian Meat 4th edition" link - Click HERE

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