The following Guidelines contain all amendments through January 1, 2007. This supersedes all prior versions, including
that of October 1, 2004, September 1, 2003, August 12, 1999, January 1, 1994,
January 1, 1991, September 23, 1980 and 1990 amendments.
Conditions of trade should
be understood between buyer and seller. The following Guidelines are suggested as a pattern for the settlement of fat
claims relating to Imported Meat sold on a guaranteed chemical lean basis,
where no prior understanding between buyer and seller exists. These Guidelines, however, are not intended to
replace or supersede any other method agreed to by, or acceptable to, buyer and
seller with respect to the
settlement of fat claims.
2. Notification of Claims
a. The following minimum
standards are to apply in notifying exporters/sellers initially of any proposed
The general location of product is to be advised
to the exporter/seller so that a laboratory can be mutually agreed.
Container No. and/or Port Mark supplied.
If a CL test has been undertaken by the claimant
the CL claimed must be supported in written form. If a CL test cannot be provided then the
potential claim will still be valid and the retest will proceed as per the
Nomination of a minimum of two laboratories, where possible, that can sample
and test promptly.
b. After carton selection, sampling only, or
both sampling and testing may be carried out by an end-user only with written
acceptance of the exporter, otherwise a mutually acceptable independent
laboratory must be used.
c. The export/seller must select a lab within
two working days of notification pursuant to these guidelines, otherwise the
importer may arrange for testing by an independent laboratory of his choice. Alternately the exporter/seller may
advise acceptance of the end-user’s tests. (Two working days means that
notification on Friday in the US means that the exporter has until the
following Tuesday to respond except that in the event of a holiday on Monday,
in the exporter’s country, it would be Wednesday).
The importer/buyer should notify the exporter/seller
of the results of the independent lab’s test within two business days of the
date the importer receives written notification of the results from the lab.
The 10 day time period referred to in these guidelines, in relation to control
samples and barcode information retention, also applies from the date the
importer receives written notification of the results from the lab.
d. In the event that the meat is located at an
end users plant and a buyer wishes to maintain confidentiality as to the
identity of the customer, said buyer must advise the importer of the general
location of the meat so that a laboratory can be nominated. In this case the
importer will contact the laboratory and advise them of the shipping marks and
MICA testing procedures. The importer will advise the buyer of the identity of
the agreed laboratory and the buyer will then call the laboratory advising the
specific location of the meat to be tested.
e. If the exporter/seller nominates a
replacement laboratory and that laboratory cannot perform testing within 7
days, then the exporter/seller must authorize the importer to arrange for
testing by a laboratory of his choice.
If the exporter/seller does not act under the above the importer may
arrange for testing by an independent laboratory of his choice.
3. Time Limitation
All claims due to excessive fat shall be submitted to the seller within 120
days from release and passage of product by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
However, extenuating circumstances may make an extension of time reasonable and
proper. Examples of such extenuating circumstances might be stoppage of trade
or the necessity of placing product in bond when a TRQ is filled.
b. In the case of bonded product, the 120 day
period would normally begin to run when released from bond and no later than
January 31st of the succeeding year.
a. Confirm that 80% of the load is intact and
available for sampling at the time of carton selection.
the 80% of the load, select 6 pallets at random. From the 6 sample pallets
select at random 7 cartons from each pallet ensuring that this is equal to 6%
of the load. Samples must be drawn from the whole of the 6 pallets. All
cartons to be sampled are to be hard frozen in original unopened cartons.
c. The selected pallet must be different
cartons than those used for the in-house sample. Selection of cartons can be
made by the user or warehouse or by a representative of the laboratory.
the sample cartons have been selected and set aside for testing the remainder
of the load can be utilized.
e. The number of cartons sampled shall
represent at least 6% of the total number of cartons in dispute in the case of
full loads. Thus if 600 cartons are in dispute but only 480 cartons (80%) are
available, 36 cartons (6% of 600) shall be sampled.
f. In the case of partial loads the number of
cartons sampled shall be at least 6%, or a minimum of 20 cartons whichever is
the greater, of the total of cartons in dispute.
g. The barcode of each carton selected for
sampling must be recorded before sampling takes place, for the information of
the supplier. The lab/sampler is to be instructed by the importer that if the
barcodes are not available at time of sampling the lab/sampler is not to
proceed with sampling subject to further advice from the importer after
consultation with the supplier and claimant. The Independent Laboratory is to
retain an accurate duplicate copy of the barcodes in conjunction with the
control sample, i.e. a minimum of 10 days after the lab provides the results in
writing to the claimant.
4.2 Sampling of Meat
Sampling may be undertaken
by in-house staff who are trained in, and abide by, the procedures required by
these Guidelines, acceptance is gained in writing from the exporter.
These procedures are as follows:
a. The meat is to be sampled in a frozen state.
The technique for sampling cartons is to remove all the meat shavings resulting
from randomly drilling at least 12 drill holes with a minimum 3/4" auger
bit. The drill bit used should be sufficiently long enough to drill to the
depth of the carton, ensuring that it does not pass through the plastic liner
but in fact samples the total depth of the carton., A good way of doing this is to have a
plastic container with a hole in the bottom equivalent to the size of the drill
bit and drag up the shavings with each hole made. A template containing12 holes must be used,
so that the carton being drilled cannot be seen by the sampler. This ensures that random and unbiased
sampling takes place.
Drillings from each 60 lb carton or box will weight
a minimum of 1 lb.
b. Samples shall be transported and stored in
such a way as to prevent loss of moisture, e.g. in a sealed plastic bag (the
bag should be drawn lightly around the sample to eliminate large volumes of air
in the bag) or glass container. The
sample should be relevantly marked to ensure that the certification can be
filled out on completion of the process and that the sample can be identified
at all times.
For short term storage (2-48 hours) the sample
should be held at 0 to 2 degrees C. For longer storage, the sample should be
frozen at 0 degrees C.
When samples are taken out of long or short term storage,
care must be taken to incorporate any moisture loss inside the sample bag back
into the sample, and to avoid any condensation on the sample.
4.3 Preparation for Analysis
(to be undertaken at the laboratory that will
perform the analysis)
must be carried out by the approved laboratory.
b. A control sample is to be kept for 10 days and
made available for retesting at another laboratory (at requestor’s cost) should
one of the parties wish to compare results as a control measure. (see also
c. The quantity taken by above sampling
procedure has to be reduced to a much smaller quantity for analysis. The sample
is mixed and ground through a 1/8" plate. It is to be mixed and formed on
a pan or bench into a large circular patty. The sample is to be reduced in half
by taking quadrants A and D or B and C. The half sample is then to be reground
through a 1/16" plate and mixed again and a second patty formed, similarly
taking one-half the sample, A and D or B and C. The quarter sample is to be
ground a third time through a rain 1/16" plate and a sample sufficient for
laboratory analysis taken.
Care should be taken to
ensure that all material is removed from the grinder after each pass through
the mincer including any fatty material adhering to the knives, plate, barrel
or the worm. This material should be included in the sample for reduction and
regrinding. Make a small patty of the material, divided into quarters A and D
or B and C and incorporate into the selected half of the larger patty. for
regrinding. Spread the fat as evenly as possible.
Samples may be prepared by blending in a food
processor until they are reduced to the uniform paste. For large samples, e.g. 2 lbs, it is possible that the food
processor will not have the capacity to blend this quantity of meat. In this
case, the sample should be mixed, divided into halves or suitable portions,
depending on the capacity of the food processor. Each portion should be blended
separately and the blended portions thoroughly mixed, reduced in size by coning
and quartering and blended again.
approximately 40 ozs, immediately test or place into a watertight container, e.g. a tightly screwed, capped glass
jar, or into a plastic bag, which can be tightly sealed (preferably heat
4.4 Precautions to be Observed in the
a. To avoid serious error due to loss of
moisture during preparation and subsequent handling do not attempt to prepare
b. Immediately after grinding and reduction to
size, place in a watertight container and seal.
c. Do not allow the sample to come in contact
with paper of any kind.
d. Label the sample completely for identification
and inclusion of this information on the analysis certificate, using tie-on labels.
Product description- (incl.
CL): Establishment Number(s):
Lot Identification on carton
Bar code numbers unless
Date of sampling:
Number cartons or boxes in
Total number cartons
By whom sampled:
Where sampled where
confidentiality is not an issue:
Number cartons by
Number cartons by production
The parties will be reasonable in making allowance
for clerical errors.
e. Keep the sample refrigerated during grinding
and reduction (below 7° C, but preferably lower). For preference
maintain the samples in frozen state between sampling and reduction and between
reduction and analysis.
f. It is important to avoid condensation when
the sample is removed from the refrigerator to a warm room.
the sample to equilibrate to room temperature before opening. When the sample
has equilibrated to room temperature, care must be taken to see that all
"thaw juice" is thoroughly reincorporated into the sample.
g. A control sample is to be kept by the
laboratory for 10 days from the time the results are supplied to the claimant and
be made available for retesting by an alternate laboratory (at requestor’s
cost) if requested. However, any retest
is for information purposes only and the original test remains the basis for
a. The analysis shall be performed by an
independent laboratory mutually acceptable to both parties, or by the end user
if mutually acceptable to both parties.
The laboratory performing
the analysis must agree to work within these Guidelines and perform sampling with a qualified sampler as per
4.1.b. above. If the buyer does not make timely objection to the seller's
selection of such independent laboratory, buyer shall be deemed to have agreed
to such selection.
b. The method of analysis will be that published
by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC's most current
c. Although the AOAC method
is the analytical method of choice, other methods of analysis of equivalent or
approximately equivalent precision will be considered by both parties at future
times. This present document does not preclude future consideration of other
methods acceptable to both parties.
d. Analysis for fat is to
consist of four (4) individual readings taken from samples submitted to the
laboratory. The average fat content determined from these four (4) readings
shall be the final and binding result.
All charges and costs of any
initial test conducted by the buyer's representative shall be paid by the
buyer. If any test is performed by the seller's representative, costs shall be
borne by the seller if the lean content is established to be lower than the
contracted percentage. If the test establishes that the lean content is within,
or higher than, the contracted percentage the cost of testing shall be borne by
the buyer. If the product is tested by a laboratory nominated by the
exporter/seller which is located more than 250 miles (402 kilometers) from the
product to be tested,
all expenses caused by excess distance above 250 miles shall be for the account
of the exporter/seller regardless of the outcome of the test. These rules are subject to the Tolerance provision of paragraph 7.2.
of Settlement of Claims
claim for excessive fat shall be based on “cost in formulation”, namely the
additional cost the end user would incur as a result of varying the percentage
of domestic 90% chemically lean meat and the percentage of domestic 50%
chemically lean meat to obtain an end product that complies with the required
The calculation of the “cost in formulation” is
based on the prices for domestic fresh 90% chemically lean meat and domestic
fresh 50% chemically lean meat. The base
price series is the national daily average weighted prices as reported by the
USDA. Using theses daily prices, a
monthly average price is calculated for both Domestic 50”s and for Domestic
The monthly average prices are used in the formula
to arrive at The Price Adjustment Factor, namely the “adjustment price per 1%
point of lean.” which is posted on the MICA website and will also be posted on
the AMIC website. The daily USDA prices that provide the basis for the month’s
calculation will also be posted on the MICA and AMIC websites.
The Price Adjustment Factor to operate in any one
month will be the factor calculated from the previous months prices. Therefore the factor for the start of the
trial in February 2004 was the Price Adjustment factor calculated from January
2004 prices and so on.
The calculation of the claim then becomes a simple
procedure and can be calculated as follow;
The % Out of Specification x The Price Adjustment
Factor for the Month x The Amount of Product Involved in the Claim.
By way of example, if a shipment of 36,000 lbs. of
85% chemically lean meat, after following proper testing procedures was found
to be only 83% chemically lean, the resultant settlement would be computed as
follows based on a calculated Price Adjustment Factor for the month of 2.28
2.28 x 2 x 36,000 = $1641.60
In the event that product
tests more than 5% below the contracted chemical lean percentage, an additional
penalty shall be added to the claim as shown below;
Out of Specification Penalty
5.01% 6.0% Zero
6.01% 7.00% 5%
7.01% 8.00% 10%
8.01% 9.00% 15%
9.01% 10.00% 20%
10.01% plus 25%
When product is sold with a specification higher
than 91cl and is greater than 5.01% out of specification, a 25% penalty will
The Adjustment Factor used
will be the one applying in the month the claim is lodged, not the month when
the product is delivered.
Laboratories are required to
keep barcode information under the same conditions as the control sample
requirements of this agreement for the review of all parties as required.
Whilst any inadvertent loss or human error in barcode recording or transcribing
will not invalidate a claim, any other circumstance resulting in inaccurate
barcode information being presented that identifies compromise of the system
may require the claim to be settled on a commercial basis using these
guidelines as a framework for negotiation.
A tolerance will be
permitted to allow for possible variations in sampling and analysis. For product purchased as guaranteed 80%
chemically lean and higher, the tolerance is 1%. For product purchased as
guaranteed 79% chemically lean and below, the tolerance is 2%. Example: Product purchased as 85% chemically
lean which tests at 84% shall be deemed to be within the contracted percentage
and to be good delivery.
CERTIFICATE NUMBER 90-1843
Laboratories, Umpalumpa Texas
DATE SAMPLED: 20th
SAMPLED AT: Yumie,
Inc., Toothache, Texas
TAKEN BY: William
SHIPMENT: Lot Number/s 140069321
Marks: 73597 A/B
Product: B/Beef C/Trmg 80CL
cartons in dispute:
cartons available for sampling: (minimum
cartons taken for sampling:
of pallets drawn from:
6 per load).
of cartons/production date:
x 9 October, 1989, 6x 11 October, 1989,
x 15 October, 1989
Bar code numbers for each box sampled
PACKED BY: Perrier
LTD., Brigadoon, Australia
ESTABLISHMENT NUMBER/S: 905A
NO. OF DRILL HOLES: 12
SIZE OF AUGER BIT: ¾” minimum
TEMPLATE PATTERN or standard diagram:
I hereby certify
that I am fully conversant with the sampling procedures laid down in the 2007
MICA Guidelines and that the above
samples were taken in accordance with those Guidelines. In particular:
LABORATORY/CLAIMANT HAS CONFIRMED THAT:
THE SAMPLE CARTONS WERE SELECT IN ACCORDANCE
OF THE GUIDELINES.
DRILL BIT PASSED THROUGH THE MEAT IN A HARDFROZEN STATE THE
FULL DEPTH OF THE CARTON BUT NOT THROUGH THE
WERE TRANPORTED AND STORED AS PRESCRIBED.
SIGNED: W. Sampletaker