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Grading, Certification and Verification
Poultry Grading and Certification  
Contract Acceptance Certification

The contract acceptance service ensures the integrity and quality of poultry and further processed poultry products and the integrity, quality, and weight of shell eggs purchased by volume food buyers such as food manufacturers, food service operators, food retailers, exporters, and brokers. USDA specialists help institutional buyers develop and prepare explicit poultry or shell egg specifications tailored to their requirements. USDA graders then provide certification that purchases comply with these specifications.

Specific items that may be part of a poultry or further processed poultry product specification are:

  • Kind and Class (species and age of the poultry)
  • Type (frozen, chilled, IQF) and Style (cut-up parts, whole muscle)
  • Product Formulation
  • Processing, and Fabrication
  • Temperature
  • Portion Control
  • Laboratory Analysis
  • Net Weight
  • Labeling and Marking, Packing and Packaging
  • Storage and Transportation

Product meeting specified requirements is eligible for and receives the Contract Compliance identification mark. Also, an official grading certificate accompanies each shipment for verification purposes.

To establish an official specification: Contact the Grading Branch at (202) 720-3271 to obtain free assistance in developing a specification that meets your company's requirements. Then use the "Application for Specification Approval," Form PY-33 (PDF) to register the specification with USDA for use in contract acceptance service.

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  Last Modified Date: 06/04/2014