2017/18 National Beef Quality Audit

Project Title

National Beef Quality Audit


Mark Klassen klassenm@cattle.ca

Mark Klassen (Canadian Cattlemen’s Association), Jennifer Aalhus, Manuel Juarez and Colin Gill (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), and Joyce Van Donkersgoed (Consultant)

Status Project Code
In progress. Results expected in March, 2018 BQU.07.13


Benchmarking key beef quality attributes and cattle production practices to identify strengths as well as opportunities for further improvement requires periodic consumer satisfaction and carcass quality audits, and economic assessment.


  • To measure beef quality improvements made since the previous audit
  • To quantify ongoing carcass defect issues

What they will do

A series of audits and surveys will be conducted. A National Retail Audit will benchmark Consumer Satisfaction with beef eating quality and satisfaction, validated by a Beef Tenderness Survey involving objective laboratory and trained panel assessment of tenderness; an Injection Site survey benchmarking the frequency and location of carcass injection site lesions; and a Shelf Life Microbiology survey benchmarking microbiological and other parameters related to shelf life.

A National Plant Cooler and Processing Floor Carcass Audit will benchmark carcass grading performance and carcass quality and offal attributes. A Production Practices and Quality Priorities Survey of feedlots, packers, retailers, and food service operators will identify industry quality enhancement priorities and current practices. All survey results will be shared with industry through various channels including a Beef Quality Symposium, brochures, videos, fact sheets, the Verified Beef Production network, publications in peer reviewed journals and forums such as the Beef Value Chain Round Table.


This research will quantify quality improvements made since the most recent Beef Quality Audit conducted under the current Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster, identify economically meaningful opportunities for further improvement throughout the beef production chain, and communicate best production practices to achieve these improvements.