Poultry, Grades & Procurement of

Poultry Grading Shields

Poultry Grades

Poultry USDA Grade A Color LogoU.S. grades are based on nationally uniform standards of quality developed by the Standardization Branch.  These standards promote uniformity and assurance of product quality on a continuous basis regardless of supplier.  The official USDA grade shield indicates the product's quality level.USDA poultry grading is a voluntary service paid for by poultry producers.

Public Law 272

Enforcement of PL 272 helps to ensure the integrity of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grade names and assists consumers in making informed meat and poultry purchase decisions with respect to various agricultural grades.  Quality Assessment Division (QAD) monitors and verifies grade labeling and advertising of meat and poultry products at retail level.

Poultry Trade Descriptions

Trade descriptions establish voluntary trade standards for ready-to-cook chicken and turkey products produced in the U.S. The descriptions are intended to facilitate wholesale trading of poultry by providing a tool to better communicate product and packaging requirements among buyers and sellers.

Poultry and Poultry Products Grades and Standards

  1. U.S. Grade A. A lot of ready-to-cook poultry, parts, or poultry food products consisting of one or more ready-to-cook carcasses or parts, or individual units of poultry food products of the same kind and class, each of which conforms to the requirements for A quality may be designated as U.S. Grade A.
  2. U.S. Grade B. A lot of ready-to-cook poultry or parts consisting of one or more ready-to-cook carcasses or parts of the same kind and class, each of which conforms to the requirements for B quality or better may be designated as U.S.