What Is G1 Certified Beef? A Complete Guide

Are you a meat lover who wants to know more about the quality of the beef you’re consuming? Have you ever heard of G1 Certified Beef and wondered what it means?

Look no further! In this article, we’ll dive into the world of certified beef programs and explore what makes G1 Certified Beef so special.

From the specific farms it’s sourced from to the marbling and maturity of the meat, we’ll cover all the details. Plus, we’ll take a closer look at the USDA Schedule G and how it plays a role in ensuring consistent quality across different branded beef programs.

So, let’s get started and discover what sets G1 Certified Beef apart from the rest.

What Is G1 Certified Beef?

G1 Certified Beef is a type of beef that has been certified by the USDA as meeting specific quality standards. This means that the beef has been sourced from specific farms in the Midwest and has been wet-aged for 30 days. The beef must also have moderate marbling and grade “A” maturity, ensuring that it is of the highest quality in the market.

But what exactly does “certified” mean? In order to be certified, a branded beef program must file their live animal and carcass requirements with the USDA. This allows breed associations, distributors, and other industry organizations to group carcasses into specific and uniform breed and quality ranges. Certification may include quality attributes of the carcass such as maturity and marbling, as well as live animal characteristics such as hair coat color.

G1 Certified Beef is held by well-known brands such as Certified Angus Beef® and is just one of 95 certified programs according to the USDA website. These programs allow consumers to narrow down their choices based on specific attributes such as breed, natural, organic, grass-fed, or even a specific ranch.

The Importance Of Certified Beef Programs

Certified beef programs are becoming increasingly important in the beef industry. These programs go beyond traditional grading systems established by the USDA and offer consumers a way to select beef based on specific attributes such as breed, natural, organic, grass-fed, or even a specific ranch. This differentiation of product lines within the certified programs de-commoditizes how cattle are bred, fed, and sold, and establishes value creation through differentiation.

The Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is a national program that raises consumer confidence through offering proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry. BQA-certified producers provide consumers with high-quality beef they can trust to feed their families. Additionally, BQA-certified producers have the opportunity to showcase their dedication to producing high-quality beef and earn premium dollars for it.

Certified beef programs also offer benefits to producers who voluntarily choose to become certified. Throughout the supply chain, the retail and food service sector drives demand for certified beef. These companies and businesses want to offer their buyers and consumers the highest-quality beef available, and as such, will gravitate toward the products that are certified.

Furthermore, certified beef programs have made great strides in reducing violative residues and injection site lesions observed at beef packing plants by educating producers on proper record-keeping practices and the proper recommended administration of injections when treating cattle. This not only benefits consumers but also benefits producers by ensuring their production methods are up to par.

Sourcing And Farming Standards

When it comes to sourcing and farming standards for G1 Certified Beef, there are specific requirements that must be met. The beef must be sourced from a couple of specific farms in the Midwest, ensuring that it is of consistent quality. These farms raise Angus steers that weigh less than 1,050 lbs and are fed with premium grain and pasture. This means that consumers can be assured that they are eating premium beef that has been raised and processed in America.

In addition to the specific farms, the beef must also meet certain maturity and marbling requirements. It must have grade “A” maturity, which means that the animal was between 18-30 months old at the time of slaughter. The beef must also have moderate marbling, which is the amount of intramuscular fat found within the meat. This ensures that the beef is tender, juicy, and full of flavor.

Once the beef has been sourced and processed, it is wet-aged for 30 days. This allows the beef to become even more tender and flavorful, making it a top choice for consumers who want high-quality meat.

The Role Of Marbling And Maturity

Marbling and maturity are two important factors that determine the quality of beef. Marbling refers to the amount and distribution of fat within the meat, which contributes to its tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. Maturity, on the other hand, refers to the age of the animal at the time of slaughter.

Younger animals produce more tender meat, while older animals have more mature connective tissue within their muscles, which can increase toughness. In the USDA beef quality grading standards, animals under 30 months of age are considered to have the most youthful or “A” maturity.

When it comes to marbling, the degree of marbling on the RibEye is the primary determinator of beef quality grade. In the US, we follow the USDA grading (USDA Prime, USDA Choice) while others use letters and numbers like “A4”. The three predominant grading systems are the US, the Japanese and the Australian. The Japanese grades go above and beyond the US grades due to Wagyu beef, which is generally regarded as the highest grade due to its extreme levels of marbling.

Angus beef, which is the most predominant beef in America, averages a BMS (Beef Marbling Score) of 2 but reaches a maximum BMS of 5. Grass-fed beef will grade Choice at best (very little of it may grade Prime), while Wagyu cattle averages BMS 4-6 but depending on genetics, nutrition, and age at time of slaughter can go all the way up to BMS 11-12. Anything above BMS 9 will be rare and extremely expensive.

In order for G1 Certified Beef to meet specific quality standards, it must have moderate marbling and grade “A” maturity. This ensures that it is of high quality and meets the expectations of consumers who are looking for a specific type of beef with certain attributes. By understanding the role of marbling and maturity in beef quality grading, consumers can make informed decisions when choosing their meat products.

Understanding The USDA Schedule G

To understand G1 Certified Beef, it’s important to also understand the USDA Schedule G. The Schedule G is a government form that is used to certify beef programs that meet specific quality standards. It allows branded beef programs to file their live animal and carcass requirements with the USDA, who then serves as a sort of “big-brother” to ensure that they are consistently producing and selling what they claim to be.

The USDA Schedule G Certified Beef Programs are officially titled, “USDA Specification for Certification of Beef Carcass Quality and Yield Characteristics of Officially Graded Beef.” This mouthful of a title is abbreviated to simple letters of the alphabet, such as G1 for Certified Angus Beef®.

Certification may include quality attributes of the carcass such as maturity and marbling, as well as live animal characteristics such as hair coat color. The purpose of these specifications is to group carcasses into specific and uniform breed and quality ranges, allowing consumers to narrow down their choices based on specific attributes.

While not all branded beef programs have to be USDA-certified, those that choose to be are given a Schedule G number, which indicates that they meet specific quality standards. G1 still refers to Certified Angus Beef® carcass specifications, while many others have come and gone to arrive at today’s 83 G-Schedules for 146 programs that include 97 Angus.