Beef Classification

​All bovines slaughtered at the Public Abattoir are classified in line with EU legislation. The EU beef carcase classification mechanism establishes common criteria for the classification of meat quality across the European Union, thereby ensuring common classification standards across all member States.

Having a common classification standard ensures that consumers across the EU can compare the quality of meat produced/processed in any other EU member State and hence purchase the quality of meat most to their liking whilst avoiding subjective quality descriptions which may vary from one region to another.  Besides, it also enables the operation of an EU-wide beef price reporting system, and the comparison of prices of meat of similar quality across the EU. 
Classification for Bovines is carried out on three levels as follows:
Category: All Bovines are classified under different categories according to their sex and age. The different categories are denoted by the letters: A (young un-castrated bull less than two years old), B (un-castrated bull), C (steer, that is castrated bulls), D (cow, that is female bovines that have calved) and E (heifer, that is female animals that have not calved). Young bovines up to eight months are identified with the letter V, while bovines aged more than eight months but less than twelve months are denoted by the letter Z.
Conformation (SEUROP): this denotes the shape of the carcase taking into consideration the carcase’s round, back and shoulder and is denoted by the letters S (Superior), E (Excellent), U (Very Good), R (Good), O (Fair), P  (Poor).
Fat (Fat Class 1-5): this denotes the amount of fat on the outside of the carcase and in the thoracic cavity. It is denoted by the numbers 1 (Low), 2 (Slight), 3 (Average), 4 (High), 5 (very High).