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Grading, Certification and Verification
USDA AA Shield  
Example of USDA AA Grade shield
Official USDA grades for dairy products, such as U.S. Grade AA for butter and Cheddar cheese, and U.S. Extra Grade for non-fat dry milk, are based on nationally uniform standards of quality developed by the Standardization Branch.

USDA U.S. Extra Grade Shield  
Example of USDA U.S. Extra Grade shield
These standards promote uniformity in Federal grading services and are sometimes used by dairy plants in their quality control programs. The official USDA grade shield indicates the product's quality level by use of letters such as "AA" , and "A" or the words "extra" and "standard" .

USDA Quality Approved Shield  
Example of USDA Quality Approved shield
Product specifications measure quality by establishing minimum acceptable requirements for dairy products not covered by an official grade standard. Specifications are a guide to quality for consumers; are routinely referenced in government procurement documents; and form a basis for trade across the United States.
The official USDA quality approved shield can be applied to packages of dairy products meeting the requirements of a specification.

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  Carrie Sayasithsena 202.720.3171  
  Last Modified Date: 06/18/2008