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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 08-07-2010, 08:37 AM   #1
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Default Trimming at Home Question

I know you are allowed to trim up your meat at home but is there any packaging that you need to bring with you? The wrapper or a clipping of the cryovac? I'm going to trim chicken at home but I was going to toss them in a ziplock. I know this is a pretty basic newbie question I just want to make sure Im doing everything right.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:43 AM   #2
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That'll work just fine. I do save my labels from the store packaging. Once in a blue moon the meat inspector (mostly FBA) will ask to see them.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:13 AM   #3
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That'll work just fine. I do save my labels from the store packaging. Once in a blue moon the meat inspector (mostly FBA) will ask to see them.
The applicable FBA rule is: "4. MEAT INSPECTION - 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......"

You must be able to show that the meat meets these requirements. Labels work the best. Save your labels or the printing from the box if you buy by the case. If you get your meat from a butcher he probably can label it for you and you can also show receipts from the butcher to prove that the meat is not a rustled steer or road kill.

As an FBA Rep I usually ask to see them.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:40 AM   #4
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I usually trim my chicken at home and then vacuum seal it to take to the contest. I have never taken the label from the package with me and have never been asked for it. They can tell by looking at the package if you have added anything to it. But if you want to be safe you can take the package label with you.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:51 AM   #5
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I trim everything at home and put it in the food saver. I don't bring labels but do have the recipts with all of my other paper work just in case. The meat inspectors should be able to tell that there aren't any marinades or seasonings... if they have any questions I would bust open the seals and let them get a closer look.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:38 AM   #6
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We've never been asked for labels by a KCBS inspector, as no such requirement is in those rules. When we have been asked to save labels by a local HD, we have never been asked to present them at booth inspection.

That having been said, what does having labels really prove? That a particular cook once bought some meat within sell-by dates, which may or may not be the meat in question? As long as pretrimming is allowed, it is simply not possible to prove the connection between having access to an USDA-inspected facility, and the meat being presented. There are other wrinkles like case purchase and meat long frozen, but you get the drift.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DivaHerself View Post
We've never been asked for labels by a KCBS inspector, as no such requirement is in those rules. When we have been asked to save labels by a local HD, we have never been asked to present them at booth inspection.

That having been said, what does having labels really prove? That a particular cook once bought some meat within sell-by dates, which may or may not be the meat in question? As long as pretrimming is allowed, it is simply not possible to prove the connection between having access to an USDA-inspected facility, and the meat being presented. There are other wrinkles like case purchase and meat long frozen, but you get the drift.
You probably have never done an FBA contest. Our rules specify USDA or DA. The onus is on you to present the proof that the meat meets the requirement. Labels are the easiest way to do that. We are not looking at sell-by dates, as they are not a criteria. With case purchases, just bring the part of the box with the USDA/DA printing. I would initial and date it that it was used as proof on that date. The FBA is a very cook friendly association. We work with the cooks in order to help them any way we can. Rarely are FBA meat inspections a problem.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:55 AM   #8
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You're right, we've not yet cooked an FBA contest. The geography for that isn't really in our favor at present. Our experience is related to the numerous KCBS and IBCA contests we have cooked and it is the rules and requirements of those sanctioning bodies that those comments pertain to.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexEx View Post
Our rules specify USDA or DA. The onus is on you to present the proof that the meat meets the requirement. Labels are the easiest way to do that.
Oh, I absolutely understand the intent of the ruling -- I just observe that unless the meat is still IN the packaging, no connection between the two has been established.

As soon as we get over this silly dislike of driving two or three days one way, we'll be there, labels in hand!
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexEx View Post
The applicable FBA rule is: "4. MEAT INSPECTION - 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......"
We don't know that Bourbon Barrel BBQ is cooking an FBA competition since hsi post doesn't specify.

Gang, when posting questions about competition rules, please specify the sanctioning body. That way the answers that you receive will be correct for you competition. TexEx has given you the answer for FBA, but if you are asking about KCBS or MBN or ICBA or... then his answer may not apply.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
We don't know that Bourbon Barrel BBQ is cooking an FBA competition since hsi post doesn't specify.

Gang, when posting questions about competition rules, please specify the sanctioning body. That way the answers that you receive will be correct for you competition. TexEx has given you the answer for FBA, but if you are asking about KCBS or MBN or ICBA or... then his answer may not apply.

Sorry about that. KCBS events are 95% of the comps around me. The thought of FBA or others didn't even register. You guys are supposed to be able to read my mind.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Sorry about that. KCBS events are 95% of the comps around me. The thought of FBA or others didn't even register. You guys are supposed to be able to read my mind.
We have never been asked for labels at a KCBS event.

In Mainely Chillin' and Grillin' the meat inspection was running late, so I started to trim early so I could season right after the inspection. One of the other teams from outside of New England "warned" me that I should not be trimming the meat before the meat inspection. I replied that all the New England reps knew the KCBS rules and it would not be a problem. It wasn't a problem.

It does make me wonder. I understand the FBA rule as stated here, and that makes sense. Have other people ever had a problem with pre-trimmed (but unseasoned) meat at KCBS events?
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexEx View Post
You probably have never done an FBA contest. Our rules specify USDA or DA. The onus is on you to present the proof that the meat meets the requirement. Labels are the easiest way to do that. We are not looking at sell-by dates, as they are not a criteria. With case purchases, just bring the part of the box with the USDA/DA printing. I would initial and date it that it was used as proof on that date. The FBA is a very cook friendly association. We work with the cooks in order to help them any way we can. Rarely are FBA meat inspections a problem.

and more than a few teams who cook FBA just keep a ziploc of old labels in their BBQ stuff when they are asked. I know that I did after I had to run to the store to buy a chicken label a couple of years ago.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexEx View Post
You probably have never done an FBA contest. Our rules specify USDA or DA. The onus is on you to present the proof that the meat meets the requirement. Labels are the easiest way to do that. We are not looking at sell-by dates, as they are not a criteria. With case purchases, just bring the part of the box with the USDA/DA printing. I would initial and date it that it was used as proof on that date. The FBA is a very cook friendly association. We work with the cooks in order to help them any way we can. Rarely are FBA meat inspections a problem.
So, how does an FBA cook prove that the labels/receipts he provides actually came from the meat that is being inspected? And how does the FBA meat inspector verify that the labels and/or receipts that he/she is being shown actually came from the meat that he/she is inspecting?
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:36 AM   #15
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and more than a few teams who cook FBA just keep a ziploc of old labels in their BBQ stuff when they are asked. I know that I did after I had to run to the store to buy a chicken label a couple of years ago.
"old labels " is the keywords here. That of course would be cheating.
The inspector is not detective, judge or jury. His/her job is to see the words USDA or DA and not question the source. As a Rep and meat inspector I sometimes have suspicions about labels but the rules do not currently address that situation. It is assumed that the team is honorable.
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