At the packer, the first lot of cattle received from every new participant will be sampled and analyzed for vitamin E concentration. This is in keeping with studies such as Faustman et al. (1989) and Smith (1996); the target average tissue level is 3.3 µg per gram necessary to lengthen color shelf life for retailers.
Sampled muscle is the Rectus capitis dorsalis major, which is found on both sides of the first cervical vertebra. Following a successful initial sampling and analysis, each participant's cattle will be randomly sampled, with approximately 10 percent of the participating feedyards being sampled weekly.
Any load of cattle that has an average vitamin E tissue content below 2.5 µg per gram will be reanalyzed. If it is still found to be below the minimum threshold, the program's quality control center will be notified and the next load of cattle from this feedyard will be automatically sampled and analyzed. A second below-threshold finding will trigger an audit to verify that at least 500 IU of vitamin E was fed per head per day for at least 100 days preceding slaughter.