We offer the freshest quality cuts of meat around. Come see our great selection of Pork Beef and Chicken, and the friendliest Butchers in town.

Countryside Markets reputation for selling only the highest quality meat will continue. Our meat departments sell the best quality premium products including Government Inspected Pork, Government Inspected Fresh Chicken and U.S.D.A. Choice Beef.

Consumer awareness: know your grading - Black Angus, Hereford, Blue Ribbon Beef, etc. are breeds or brands which can also be U.S.D.A. Select which is a lower grade and can result in toughness and lack of flavor.


The USDA grades for poultry are A, B, and C.

Grade A is the highest quality and the only grade that is likely to be seen at the retail level. This grade indicates that the poultry products are virtually free from defects such as bruises, discolorations, and feathers. Bone-in products have no broken bones. For whole birds and parts with the skin on, there are no tears in the skin or exposed flesh that could dry out during cooking, and there is a good covering of fat under the skin. Also, whole birds and parts will be fully fleshed and meaty.


USDA Grades for Meat and Poultry

Beef is graded as whole carcasses in two ways:

  • Quality grades - for tenderness, juiciness, and flavor; and
  • Yield grades - for the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass. There are eight quality grades for beef. Quality grades are based on the amount of marbling (flecks of fat within the lean), color, and maturity.

Quality Grades:

  • Prime Grade is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It has abundant marbling and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking (i.e., roasting, broiling, and grilling).
  • Choice Grade is high quality, but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are, like Prime, suited to dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts, such as those from the rump, round, and blade chuck, can also be cooked with dry heat, but be careful not to overcook them. Using a meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking and assures a safe internal temperature: 145 °F is medium rare; 160 ° F, medium; and 170 °F, well done.
  • Select Grade is very uniform in quality and normally leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but, because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades. Only the tender cuts (loin, rib, sirloin) should be cooked with dry heat. Other cuts should be marinated before cooking or cooked with moisture to obtain maximum tenderness and flavor.
  • Standard and Commercial Grades frequently are sold as ungraded or as "store brand" meat.
  • Utility, Cutter, and Canner Grades are seldom, if ever, sold at retail but are used instead to make ground beef and processed products.

SOURCE: All information courtesy of: United States Department of Agriculture

Food Temperature Guidelines

The following guidelines will help determine when food has come to the right temperature for both safety and the best flavor. Use an instant-read thermometer, a conventional thermometer to test for temperature. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone. Some foods contain a Pop Up© Timer inserted at the processing plant, and these work well, too.

For more information:

  • Check the Meat and Poultry Hotline, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 800-535-4555
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Information Hotline: 888-SAFE-FOOD
Food Internal Cooked
Temperature (°F.)
Beef, Veal, Lamb,Roasts and Steaks
Medium rare 145°
Medium 160°
Well done 160°
Ground meat 160°
Raw sausages 160°
Ready-to-eat sausages 165°
Pork, Roasts, and Chops
Medium rare 145°
Medium 160°
Well done 170°
Ground 160°
Whole bird, legs, thighs
& wings
Ground 165°
Chicken and turkey breasts 165°
Stuffing 165°
Fish Cook until flakes easily with a fork
Leftovers Reheat to 165° at the thickest part
Eggs Cook until both the white and the yolk are firm
Egg dishes 160°