UW hosts international meat judging competition

A special meat product competition is being held on the UW-Madison campus this week. The event, which runs Monday – Wednesday, is a satellite contest of the IFFA Quality Competition, a large international meat judging event held every three years in Frankfurt, Germany.

This is the first time organizers have held an offsite contest in conjunction with the main competition in Frankfurt. This historic decision was made to help facilitate the participation of American meat processors, who faced difficulties trying to ship their entries to the European Union.

At Madison’s satellite contest, sausage and ham products from Wisconsin and around the nation will be judged for a variety of quality attributes by members of the German Butchers Association (GBA). These same judges will then preside over the main IFFA Quality Competition, which will be held in May.

“It’s a great chance for people to learn how an international meat product judging competition works,” says CALS and UW-Extension meat expert Jeff Sindelar, who helped organize the event.

Entries judged in Madison will be given the same treatment as those judged in Frankfurt, and all will be compared against a gold standard. Of the more than 2,500 meat products that will be assessed for the competition, around 300 will be evaluated in Madison.

The three-day event takes place in the main lobby of the university’s Discovery Building, located at 330 North Orchard Street. It runs 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. each day.

Members of the public are welcome to stop by and observe the judging process. While the judging area will be roped off, onlookers should have a good view, and representatives from the GBA will be on hand to explain what’s going on and answer questions.

The Madison-based event is being put on by the GBA, the American Association of Meat Processors and UW-Extension’s meat science program.