Poultry Grading and Certification
Grading is the evaluation of poultry and shell eggs based on the official USDA Quality standards. Nationally about 80 percent of the turkeys, 60 percent of the chickens and other poultry and 40 percent of the shell eggs that go to U.S. consumers are officially graded according to USDA Grade Standards.
Certification is verifying that poultry and shell egg purchases through food procurement contracts meet requirements for such things as quality, condition, formulation, net weight, packaging, storage, and transportation. Certification services are tailored to meet the specific product needs of food manufacturers, the food service industry, and food retailers. Grading and certification services are paid for by those who request and use them. Although they are a voluntary service, they are sometimes required in government contracts for military rations or purchases for USDA Donated Food Assistance programs.