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Beef Brad and Carcass Tag

Kevin Donovan | April 15, 2013

Ketchum Mfg specializes in identification products that span a wide variety of industries.  The meat packing industry is one industry that Ketchum excels at for identification and takes pride in because of the strict regulations that it has to follow to achieve the highest quality of products that are sold to the consumer.  Traceability is the most important process in the meat packing industry, all food products must have some identifying marker on them to be able to be traced back to the original source, should anything happen to the product that makes it unsafe for consumers.   There are many steps that a carcass goes through from the time it enters a packing plant to the time it is ready to be shipped to the grocery store.  Imagine a packing plant as a dry cleaner, it may sound strange but keep reading.  At a dry cleaner a customer drops of a suit or two to be cleaned.  The person behind the counter tags the suit and off it goes to be cleaned using multiple processes.  The tag remains on the suit until the customer picks it up.  A similar idea can be applied to the meat packing industry except on a larger scale and with ‘all the suits looking the same’.  A customer, usually a meat purchaser for a grocery chain, will pick several carcasses at the beginning of the meat packing process, tag it, then will not see it again until the product comes out as steak, roast or ground meat.  It is very important that during the packing and processing time the carcass does not lose the identifying marker it was given to ensure the customer receives the product that was originally chosen. 

The view from a meat packer is that the safest material to be used for carcass identification is a non corrosive, non toxic, non-chemically reactive product.  The packing industry needs a tag that will remain in a carcass from the time it is first marked right through to the end of processing.  Ketchum Mfg. developed a blue carcass brad that will meet those demands.  The plastic carcass brad is specially designed to easily insert into a carcass and to hold any of the Ketchum carcass tags available.  The blue beef brads are food grade quality and have been approved by the CFIA and the USDA for direct contact to food products.  Each tag has a stem that is 1 3/4” long and has a head that is 1/2” by 3/4” for easy handling and inserting into a carcass.  At just pennies a tag, these provide the safest and most durable form of removable carcass marking on the market.  Unlike metal tags, the Ketchum tags are made from a special material that will not harm any of the equipment in the rendering process in the rare occasion a brad does not get removed before entering the equipment.  The Ketchum tag combinations are not affected by temperature change resulting in high retention rates in the carcass and ensuring proper traceability of the meat products throughout the packing process

                               KK-1075-064: length 1-3/4" , height 1/2" x 3/4"                                  


Ketchum offers several styles of carcass tags that can be used with the beef brads. 

The plastic carcass tags are made from 0.015” pvc plastic that are available in 3 stock colours: yellow, white and blue.  Ketchum carcass tags are cold tolerant and will not become brittle and break.  Each tag can be easily separated from the packaging even in cold conditions.  Custom colours can be made with a minimum order of 5,000 tags.  These tags can be ordered in two formats: blank and custom print.  Blank tags are easily written on with a permanent marker with no smudging and no running of ink.  Ketchum can screen print a company logo or symbol onto each tag as well as ink jet a numbering sequence or barcode for even more customization. 


Ketchum KK-1080 auction tags are an alternative option to the carcass tags.  These tags measure 3” wide x 2 1/2” high.  The tags can be purchased in a blank format, printed with custom numbers, or printed with a barcode.  Blank tags are great for the custom marking of a carcass with a specialized symbol or character combination.  The tags are available in 3 colours: yellow, orange and white.


For more information on these products please contact us at 613-342-8455 or email us at ketchum@ketchum.ca

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