USDA Prime is the Best Beef Grade Awarded by the USDA.
Beef Prime
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Beef prime is highly acceptable and palatable! Beef Prime is produced from young and well-fed beef type cattle. The Beef Prime grade, is awarded to less than 4% of beef that passes through the voluntary grading system. Most beef Prime ends up at pricey Steak Houses. Criterion for Prime grading include: Marbling (the more the better), and the age of the animal (younger animals with less collagen in their muscle are more tender).

The most important thing to remember is that without "USDA" in the grading label any designation like "Choice," "Select," or "Prime" on a package of meat is almost worthless. The terms alone can mean anything the butcher wants them to mean and there is no fine or punishment for using those value-laden terms independently. If you see, "Choice," "Prime" or "Select" by itself on a label be very skeptical and inquire before spending your money. The meat department has razor thin profit margins and unfortunately, misleading customers and deception is one way to improve profits for some.