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Burk504
09-22-2009, 03:11 PM
Doing my first comp 2 weekends from now, Smokin Valley BBQ Festival in Front Royal VA, and am curious about what the inspector is looking for.

I see in the rules that I can't pre-treat the meat before the inspection, but are there other things he is looking for? Does the inspector want to see the packaging and the sell-by date on it?

Thanks,
Jeff

dmprantz
09-22-2009, 03:18 PM
Depends on the comp and inspector, but in my limmited experience I've never had a meat inspection go beyond eyeballing the package and the cooler. If it's in a cryovac and on ice, you shouldn't have any problem. If it's trimmed, but in a ziploc, you should similarly have little problem. Make sure it's the correct weight on the butts and have fun! If you have the original packaging and receipt, you may want to take it just in case, but I never bother. Good Luck!

dmp

JD McGee
09-22-2009, 03:18 PM
Pre-treating means no rubs, spices, injections, marinades, etc. can be applied to the meats. Pre-trimming is usually allowed depending on your local health dept. regs...

Good luck at the comp! :-P

dmprantz
09-22-2009, 03:20 PM
btw, sell by date doesn't mean a whole lot since there's nothing prohibiting the use of previously frozen meats. Some teams even insist on it!

CajunSmoker
09-22-2009, 03:22 PM
I know it varies from one area to another. Around this part of the country, we get a quick look to make sure the meat is being held below 40*, sometimes they check to make sure our Pork is at least 5#'s and once I had an inspector check that I had my chicken in a different cooler than my other meats(this is not required under any KCBS rule that I have seen, but it's a good idea to do just in case you get this inspector:roll:).

You are allowed to trim your meats before inspection, but not to preseason or marinate them.

Good luck on your first comp and have a good time:-D

Skip
09-22-2009, 03:22 PM
You might want to make sure you have a thermometer in the cooler or close by. I believe that is a requirement.

Bride of Roo(BQ'n)
09-22-2009, 03:23 PM
Its funny, of all the minutia rules KCBS has for things, there is LITTLE guidance on meat inspection. At our contest I make sure the meat is in original packaging unseasoned, if trimmed, I look a little closer. I also make sure the meat is at safe temps (visually no thermometer). Believe it or not I also take a glance at what else it around, ie if I see cooked versions of the comp meats I ask....and they better say thats lunch or supper!!

butt head
09-22-2009, 03:23 PM
they will be checking to make sure it's not seasoned,also checking for extinguisher, wash bins and temp probs. if you have all your good. Good luck and have fun

musicmanryann
09-22-2009, 03:29 PM
Here is the KCBS meat inspection guide that is available on their website under "resources" (member only access):

KCBS Meat Inspections Guide

Thank you for agreeing to assist with the meat inspections for this contest. There are two reasons we conduct meat inspections. The first is for safety. We need to ensure the meat is being properly handled and stored. The second reason is to ensure fairness.

You, as a meat inspector, should be knowledgeable of the current KCBS rules and familiar with the cuts of meat being submitted for your contest. We are not asking you to be the “meat police”, just to use common sense.

The cooks arrive the day before the contest to get set up and many will want to start meat preparation as soon as possible. All competition meats must be inspected by the Organizer or its representative, prior to the cook preparing the meats for competition. Therefore, the meat inspector should be on site the morning before the contest (normally Friday). We recommend 9:00 AM but NO LATER than 11:00 AM.

The contest organizer should give you a list of all the teams and their locations. The bottom line is that all competition meats get inspected. There is a form at the end of these guidelines that you can use to record your inspections or you may make one of your own. You will need two complete copies of this form. Once all of the inspections are completed, give one of the copies to the organizer and the other to one of the KCBS Contest Reps.

Any issues or concerns should be reported to your Contest Rep for resolution. The KCBS Rep has the final word on any question or issue with the meat inspection.

You may either inspect each teams competition meats as they arrive and are being checked in or you may go to their cook site to do your inspections. If you are not able to do your inspections as the teams arrive, one easy way to help you keep track of who has had an inspection and who has not is to give each team a 3 foot piece of orange ribbon and ask them to display the ribbon when they are ready for the meat inspector. After they have been inspected, simply remove the ribbon.

Remember: KCBS contest meats may not be precooked or premarinated prior to the meat inspection. Some teams may be entering more categories than others so be sure you confirm with the cooks that all the meat they will be using in the competition has been inspected by you.



Here are the most important points for you to know before you begin:

1. All meats must be stored at a temperature of 40 degrees or less. Use common sense. If the meat is packed in ice, or in a refrigerator and is cold, then it is presumed the meat has met the requirement. Please do not use a temperature probe to measure internal temps. We do not want to cross contaminate any meats. You may check the temperature of the ice chest or the refrigerator. Meats which are warmmust be removed from the contest area and may not be used in competition. Do not open meat packages which you can see through unless from the looks of the meat you suspect some type of improper marinade.

2. No pre­seasoned meat is allowed other than manufacturer-enhanced or injected products as stated on the label excluding but not limited to: teriyaki, lemon pepper or butter injected. All meats must be raw when inspected.

3. The meats do not have to be in the original packaging and may be trimmed prior to meat inspection, but no meat may be seasoned, injected or cooked prior to the inspect ion.

According to KCBS rules, these are the only acceptable meats for a KCBS Sanctioned contest:

Chicken: Chicken includes wild or farm-raised chicken, Cornish game hen or kosher chicken. The chicken may be whole or in parts.

Pork Ribs: Ribs may be spare ribs, St. Louis cut pork ribs, or baby back ribs. The ribs must include the bone. Country style ribs are prohibited.

Pork: Pork shall be Boston butt, picnic and/or whole shoulder weighing a minimum of five (5) pounds. It can have the bone in or bone out. No pork loin, pork tenderloin, pork chop or other type of pork roast is permitted.

Brisket: Brisket may only be beef brisket. It may be whole (packer trimmed), flat or point. No other beef product may be substituted for the brisket. Corned beef is not allowed.

Thank you again for providing this valuable service of ensuring the safety and fairness of this contest!

The Kansas City Barbeque Society

Tweedle
09-22-2009, 03:30 PM
The comp we just went to (our first so take it as you may) they looked to make sure it was on ice and that it was not seasoned and the only thing the looked closly at was the ribs for some reason and they were still in cryovac packaging.. then they wanted to see fire extiguisher ash bucket thremometer wash bins and bleach. took about 2 min total.

Scottie
09-22-2009, 03:32 PM
You might want to make sure you have a thermometer in the cooler or close by. I believe that is a requirement.


That is just in the NEBS land and also I have run in to that down in New Mexico. But NEBS contests, they always check for wash tubs, bleach, thermometer and fire extinguisher...

Jacked UP BBQ
09-22-2009, 03:38 PM
I have only had one inspector ever give me a hard time and it was because we were vending.

dmprantz
09-22-2009, 03:52 PM
So Danish ribs and pastrami are legal?

Dan - 3eyzbbq
09-22-2009, 03:54 PM
Jeff-

I'll be there. If you have any questions once you get there, just find me. Looks like you got your question answered already about the inspection.

Plowboy
09-22-2009, 06:12 PM
Its funny, of all the minutia rules KCBS has for things, there is LITTLE guidance on meat inspection. At our contest I make sure the meat is in original packaging unseasoned, if trimmed, I look a little closer. I also make sure the meat is at safe temps (visually no thermometer). Believe it or not I also take a glance at what else it around, ie if I see cooked versions of the comp meats I ask....and they better say thats lunch or supper!!

Um, you won't see any of my comp meat in the original packaging this weekend. Everything is trimmed and recryovac'd.

Buster Dog BBQ
09-22-2009, 06:22 PM
Um, you won't see any of my comp meat in the original packaging this weekend. Everything is trimmed and recryovac'd.
same here.

The_Kapn
09-22-2009, 07:09 PM
Rules is rules.
Even though it is not "required", I always cut out and vacumn pack the grocery store label with any meat I pre-trim or re-pack.
A couple of years ago, I had a "discussion" about some Cornish parts I had trimed and vac-packed. Turned out OK, but some dicey moments.
Just last weekend, the REP was looking for some labels of some sort on my re-packed ribs. He was happy when I showed them to him. :lol:

To me, it is a simple thing to keep the labels and avoid the "conversation", whether it is required or not.

I like it SIMPLE and SAFE.

But, that is just me.

TIM

VA BBQ PIRATES
09-22-2009, 07:27 PM
Hey Jeff congrats on joining the fray! We'll be there too so be sure to look us up and ask any questions that come up. Meat inspection is usually pretty simple. Is the meat what it is supposed to be? Chicken, Ribs - NOT country style, Pork over 5 lbs, and beef brisket. Is it unseasoned & is it cold. We always keep our chicken in a seperate cooler though the rules don't require it. We also trim our ribs & chicken at home and vac seal. Never been asked for any labels or reciepts. You will need a fire extinguisher & wash station. Sometimes they check, sometimes not. Bottom line- don't worry about it.

Do have a writen time line especially for Sat morn. One little problem can distract you and cause you to forget a step so write it down.

Tom

Skip
09-22-2009, 07:46 PM
So Danish ribs and pastrami are legal?

Not sure on the Danes. They are called babyback and are pork. Although everything I've heard says run the other way.

Wouldn't corned beef smoked make pastrami? I figure if you can't use corned beef you can't make pastrami. Unless you have a way of curing the meat on site without a vacuum sealer. I've seen good attempts.

TexEx
09-23-2009, 06:40 AM
Rules is rules.
Even though it is not "required", I always cut out and vacumn pack the grocery store label with any meat I pre-trim or re-pack.
A couple of years ago, I had a "discussion" about some Cornish parts I had trimed and vac-packed. Turned out OK, but some dicey moments.
Just last weekend, the REP was looking for some labels of some sort on my re-packed ribs. He was happy when I showed them to him. :lol:
To me, it is a simple thing to keep the labels and avoid the "conversation", whether it is required or not.
I like it SIMPLE and SAFE.
TIM

Hi Tim
Last weekend you were competeing under FBA rules which have different requirements than KCBS. I was probably the REP who did your inspection at Lake City. Although the Rule does not specifically say bring the labels, it does say all meats must be USDA or state DA inspected and passed. How else can YOU prove the meat passed USDA or DA inspection without labels? No labels = not passed = no compete. Just save the original labels so we know you procured your meat from a safe inspected source.
Congrats on your 2nd in chicken, 5th in ribs and 5th overall....


FBA MEAT INSPECTION RULE:
All meats must be USDA or state DA inspected and passed. No pre-seasoning, injecting, marinating or cooking of any entry is permitted until after inspection by the Official Meat Inspector as appointed by the FBA Representative or the contest organizer. Meat inspection begins at noon on the day prior to the contest. All meat must be maintained at a maximum temperature of 40 degrees F prior to inspection. Prior to cooking, all meat that is resting in preparation for cooking must be covered at all times. All meats must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F. After cooking all meat must be maintained at a minimum temperature of 140 degrees F in a covered container until turned in for judging. All contest meat, once inspected, may not leave the cook team's site until turn in.

dmprantz
09-23-2009, 09:02 AM
Although the Rule does not specifically say bring the labels, it does say all meats must be USDA or state DA inspected and passed. How else can YOU prove the meat passed USDA or DA inspection without labels? No labels = not passed = no compete. Just save the original labels so we know you procured your meat from a safe inspected source.


I can understand wanting to make sure that the USDA/State DA requirement is met, and you seem to be "tighter" about that rule than others, but allow me to play devil's advocate here: I buy all of my meat by the case, so there is no label to provide. The best you can have is the empty cryovac or the label from the box. More so, any of those are useless in verifying that the meat being inspected was the meat originally labeled. To answer your question, no one who pre-trims his meat can prove that the meat passed DA inspection...so why put us through the time and expense of preserving bacterial garbage?

dmp

dmprantz
09-23-2009, 09:09 AM
Not sure on the Danes. They are called babyback and are pork. Although everything I've heard says run the other way.

Wouldn't corned beef smoked make pastrami? I figure if you can't use corned beef you can't make pastrami. Unless you have a way of curing the meat on site without a vacuum sealer. I've seen good attempts.

I was being sarcastic. I didn't know that manufacturer enhanced products (like Danes) are okay. As for the corned beef vs pastrami issue, that's a sore spot with me: Pastrami is not a smoked corned beef. Without going into a long discussion on the topic, the two dishes are similar in that they are both cured, but are different in almost every other way including spices, cut, and cooking method. Traditionally pastrami is beef plate, so it wouldn't qualify for the brisket category, but curing a brisket and smoking it as pastrami is not turning in a corned beef. I would never want to do that...sarcasm:)

dmp

BogsBBQ
09-23-2009, 03:06 PM
The original poster is asking about a KCBS contest. There are no rules about having the original meat labels. So if someone gives you a hard time about not having the labels at a KCBS contest, tell them to go take a flying leap into a rolling donut.


Hi Tim
Last weekend you were competeing under FBA rules which have different requirements than KCBS. I was probably the REP who did your inspection at Lake City. Although the Rule does not specifically say bring the labels, it does say all meats must be USDA or state DA inspected and passed. How else can YOU prove the meat passed USDA or DA inspection without labels? No labels = not passed = no compete. Just save the original labels so we know you procured your meat from a safe inspected source.
Congrats on your 2nd in chicken, 5th in ribs and 5th overall....


FBA MEAT INSPECTION RULE:
All meats must be USDA or state DA inspected and passed. No pre-seasoning, injecting, marinating or cooking of any entry is permitted until after inspection by the Official Meat Inspector as appointed by the FBA Representative or the contest organizer. Meat inspection begins at noon on the day prior to the contest. All meat must be maintained at a maximum temperature of 40 degrees F prior to inspection. Prior to cooking, all meat that is resting in preparation for cooking must be covered at all times. All meats must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F. After cooking all meat must be maintained at a minimum temperature of 140 degrees F in a covered container until turned in for judging. All contest meat, once inspected, may not leave the cook team's site until turn in.

Burk504
09-24-2009, 01:00 PM
Thanks everyone for the detailed help. I had a dream that I got disqualified, so now all I have worry about is COOKING!!!

Dan, from the little I know, I would say that you and Chix, Swine and Bovine are the favorites for the Valley Smokin Comp...but I am holding out that 'any given saturday' also applies to BBQ! Good Luck!

Rick Hamilton
09-25-2009, 03:21 PM
I will be there also. Feel free to swing by, say hello, and ask any questions you like. I am happy to help out. Seems like all the meat inspection stuff has been answered so i won't chime in there.

Like Tom says, relax, have your time line, and have a good time.

Scottie
09-25-2009, 03:33 PM
So I get my briskets directly from the packer. They don't have any labels on them,. Then what? Or if you buy a case of ribs, they don't label those either?

Hi Tim
Last weekend you were competeing under FBA rules which have different requirements than KCBS. I was probably the REP who did your inspection at Lake City. Although the Rule does not specifically say bring the labels, it does say all meats must be USDA or state DA inspected and passed. How else can YOU prove the meat passed USDA or DA inspection without labels? No labels = not passed = no compete. Just save the original labels so we know you procured your meat from a safe inspected source.
Congrats on your 2nd in chicken, 5th in ribs and 5th overall....


FBA MEAT INSPECTION RULE:
All meats must be USDA or state DA inspected and passed. No pre-seasoning, injecting, marinating or cooking of any entry is permitted until after inspection by the Official Meat Inspector as appointed by the FBA Representative or the contest organizer. Meat inspection begins at noon on the day prior to the contest. All meat must be maintained at a maximum temperature of 40 degrees F prior to inspection. Prior to cooking, all meat that is resting in preparation for cooking must be covered at all times. All meats must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F. After cooking all meat must be maintained at a minimum temperature of 140 degrees F in a covered container until turned in for judging. All contest meat, once inspected, may not leave the cook team's site until turn in.

Capt ron
09-25-2009, 07:44 PM
It was suggested by an inspector at one time at a comp to double bag the chicken so that it doesn't leak and contaminate the other meats. I get my meat from a butcher and they use plastic bags and twisty ties... Let me tell you the bags don't keep water out... Always to safe then sorry... Especially when it come to raw meats...

dmprantz
09-25-2009, 08:18 PM
Okay...

Enough ppl on this thread have talked about keeping chicken separate from other meats that I have to call bs. Why is that even close to necessary? Let's examine a few things: 1) Nothing kept in your raw meat cooler should be eaten without being cooked. 2) Being kept less than 40*, as any meat cooler should, will prevent any bacteria from reproducing. 3) Cooking meat to 140-165 will kill any bacteria which were around before cooking began. 4) BBQ meats are generally removed from the pit at > 180*. Even if your chicken does have bacteria, and even if those bacteria do cross contaminate to your pork butt, storing the pork butt in a proper cooler and cooking the pork butt as BBQ will kill the bacteria. Why are people advocating this? What do you think it is helping?

dmp

The_Kapn
09-25-2009, 09:07 PM
There are many ways to approach any decision about this topic.

One is the "Fark It" approach and to do the minimum I can get away with.
Then, I get to "discuss" it later and will probably "win" if I am in basic compliance. I get to spend some quality time, energy, and maybe credibility telling those Farkers that I am right and they are wrong.
I does feel good when it is over.

The other is to do everything that is reasonable and easy to do to assure that I am well within the rules, both the literal version and the intent of the rules.
With this approach, I do not need to "discuss" rules and am insured that I have done everything I can do to make life easy for me and the Reps.
When it is over, I can focus on my cooking.
I kinda prefer this approach.

But, that is just me.
Other folks may take a different approach, and that is great for them.

TIM