b. Historical Background. The development of grade standards and the
identification and certification of class, quality, quantity, and condition of agricultural
products is authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA). Regulations to
implement the AMA were developed in cooperation with state agriculture officials,
producers, processors, and consumers.
c. Penalties. The regulations provide penalties for the misuse of grading, such
as the false representation that poultry has been officially graded. Products labeled with
the terms "prime," "choice," and "select," which indicate superior or top quality, must be
equivalent to US Grade A.
d. Strict Limitations. The letters "US" or "USDA" may only be used with a
poultry grademark if the poultry has been graded by an authorized grader. The letter
grades A, B, or C may only be used without the grademark if the product has been
graded by a USDA grader and meets the requirements of the appropriate letter grade.
The words "Prepared From" or similar wording may only be used with the US
grademark if the product was produced from graded poultry.
1-11. POULTRY GRADING SERVICES
a. Voluntary Grading Services. The use of poultry grading services of USDA
is voluntary and may be requested by individuals, firms, or government agencies. Of
course, anyone using grading services must pay for them. Those who do apply for
service must also provide the space, equipment, lighting, or other facilities that are
needed by the grader or are required by the regulations. In addition, when grading is
performed in a plant, the plant and its facilities must be approved by USDA. Plants
approved for inspection services are automatically approved for grading services if
facilities are adequate for grading work.
b. List of Services Available. The programs and services available are:
Grading of ready-to-cook poultry and poultry products, including parts.
Grading of poultry food products in official or approved plants.
Grading according to contract or applicant's specification.
Weight tests, and so forth.