The UW-Madison campus will host a special meat product competition Jan. 21-25. The event is a satellite contest of the IFFA Quality Competition, a large international meat judging event held every three years in Frankfurt, Germany.

This is the second time organizers have held an off-site contest in conjunction with the main competition in Frankfurt. The off-site contest was started to help facilitate the participation of American meat processors, who can face difficulties trying to ship their meat product entries to the European Union.

At Madison’s satellite contest, sausage and ham products from Wisconsin and around the nation will be judged for a variety of quality attributes by members of the German Butchers Association. These same judges will then preside over the main IFFA Quality Competition in Germany, which will be held in May.

Entries judged in Madison will be given the same treatment as those judged in Frankfurt, and all will be compared against a gold standard. Of the more than 2,500 meat products that will be assessed for the competition, around 500 will be evaluated in Madison.

The three-day event will take place in the main lobby of the Discovery Building at 330 N. Orchard St. It runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Members of the media and the public are welcome to attend an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. on Jan. 21 and to spend time observing the judging process. While the judging area will be roped off, onlookers should have a good view, and representatives from the German Butchers Association will be on hand to explain what’s going on and answer questions.

“It’s a great chance for people to learn how an international meat product judging competition works and learn about the quality meat products made across this country, especially here in Wisconsin,” said Jeff Sindelar, a UW-Madison associate professor and Extension meat specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences, who helped organize the event.