What is the blue ink I see on a meat cut?

Meat that has been federally inspected and passed for wholesomeness is stamped with a round purple mark. The dye used to stamp the grade and inspection marks onto a meat carcass is made from a food-grade vegetable dye and is not harmful. (The exact formula is proprietary/owned by the maker of the dye.) The mark is put on carcasses and major cuts. After trimming, the mark might not appear on retail cuts such as roasts and steaks. However, meat that is packaged in an inspected facility will have an inspection mark which identifies the plant on the label.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FACTSheets/Inspection_&_Grading/index.asp

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