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Support Services for the U.S. Department of Defense  
USDA provides a range of services for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) at firms that supply food products to DoD and their customers.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grading

USDA inspects fresh fruits and vegetables purchased by Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) to ensure that the produce meets contract specifications.

Quality and System Audits

DoDís Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) evaluates suppliers to verify that the type and quality of food products being provided meet contract specifications.

  • Prime Vendor Audits - A team of USDA and U.S. Department of Commerce (USDC) food quality experts assist DLA in evaluating food items being delivered by suppliers to military bases, installations, ships, and other DoD customers for compliance with specifications. The team conducts on-site visits to contractor facilities in the United States and worldwide.
  • Quality System Management Visits - USDA experts assist DLA on visits to suppliersí production and/or storage facilities to assess and verify that suppliers meet contract requirements, including adherence to the firmís quality system plan, appropriate storage operations, and effective delivery service to DoD customers.
  • Produce Quality Audits - USDA experts assist DLA on visits to produce suppliers to verify that facilities meet food safety and food defense requirements and to ensure that DoD customers receive the quality fresh fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut products required under DLA contracts.

Operational Rations Inspection

DLA requires USDA inspection of many food components used in DoDís Operational (i.e., combat) Rations. Contractors supplying Operational Rations, such as the Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) and the First Strike Ration, and certain items in DoDís Unitized Group Rations are required to have the key food components in these rations produced under USDA inspection. Under this program, USDA monitors plant sanitation and compliance with FDAís Good Manufacturing Practices, verifies the firmís adherence to their stated quality system plan, inspects finished products for conformance with military requirements, and certifies acceptable products for shipment into the rations programs. USDA graders help ensure that the meals reaching U.S. troops are reliable and meet troopsí quality and nutrition needs.

Please contact the Specialty Crops Inspection Division for additional information.

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See Also
  Processed FV Inspection and Certification Services  
  Fresh FV Inspection and Certification Services  
  Processed FV Audit Services  
  Fresh FV Audit Services  
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  Last Modified Date: 04/22/2014