Beef Quality Corner -- Injection Site Update
Livestock Update, November 1997
Bill McKinnon, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech
The beef industry continues to make progress at reducing injection site lesions in the top sirloin. The latest "Top Sirloin Injection-Site Audit" showed an incidence rate of scars and lesions of 5.61%. The survey conducted in July of this year found the lowest rate of injection site damage in the top sirloin since the surveys began in March of 1991.
The July survey sampled over 11,000 top sirloins. The study indicated that the average trim loss per lesion was 4.87 ounces. The survey found 7 (or 0.06%) fluid filled lesions. Though the survey indicates that the industry is making progress at solving the injection site problem, it also indicates that some producers are either not getting the word or are simply being irresponsible.
Work at Colorado State University seems to make it obvious that intramuscular injections cause muscle and hence, beef damage. The message from industry leadership has been clear. When the product to be injected can be given either subcutaneously or intramuscularly, choice the subcutaneous route. Secondly, move all injection sites to the neck area. Everyone from the cow/calf owner to the packer has a role in beef quality assurance.