b. For Business Transactions. Grade standards furnish an acceptable
common language that buyers and sellers use in trading and that market news reporters
use when communicating about market prices and supplies.
c. Cost Factor Decisions. Poultry firms that base the price paid to the grower
on grade yields will grade the product to USDA standards.
d. Resident Grading Service. Many processors request full-time resident
grading service from USDA so that they may use the official grade on each bird or
e. Specifying Grades in Food Contracts. The Department of Defense (DoD), state,
county, Federal, and city institutions, airlines, grocery stores, fast-food restaurants,
hospitals, schools, and other large-scale food buyers use the grading service by
specifying USDA graded poultry products in their food (purchasing) contracts.
f. Varied Financial Purposes. Anyone with a financial interest in a lot of
processed poultry may apply to USDA to have an official grade designation placed on
the lot. The grades may be used as the basis for negotiating loans, settling disputes
involving quality, or paying damage claims.
g. Various Commercial Purposes. Commercial firms often use the US
Standards of Quality and Grades as a basis for specifications for their own products, for
advertising, and for establishing brand names.
Section II. GRADING AND INSPECTION PROGRAMS
a. Definition of Inspection. All poultry that is graded must first be inspected.
Inspection refers to the wholesomeness of poultry and its fitness for use as food.
Inspection is not concerned with quality or grade.
b. Definition of Grading. Grading, in general, involves sorting products
according to quality and size, but it also includes determining the class and condition of
products. For poultry, grading is the classifying and sorting of poultry and poultry
products according to various groups of conditions and quality characteristics.
a. Historical Background. Under the Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1957,
USDA provides mandatory Federal inspection of poultry and poultry products shipped
interstate or for foreign commerce. The wholesome Poultry Products Act of 1968
amended the 1957 law to strengthen it and to open the way for vastly improved state
poultry inspection systems.