Poultry Grading and Inspection
US Grade A Poultry
- Quality means "The inherent properties of a product that determine its relative degree of excellence."
- Product is continuously monitored by USDA graders and assigned a grade based on the following quality factors: exposed flesh, defeathering, discolorations, broken bones, missing parts, freezing defects, conformation or shape, fleshing, and fat covering.
- Grading is a voluntary service paid for by poultry processors. Not all poultry is USDA graded.
US Inspected Poultry
- Inspection refers to the safety of poultry and poultry products and the accuracy of their labels.
- Both the products and the plants' systems for sanitation and preparation of products are inspected to assure that they are safe.
- Inspection involves only those properties related to wholesomeness and labeling, not quality.
- Inspection is mandatory and required by law, with minor exceptions.