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Old 10th October 2006, 03:18 PM   #1
snooziums
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Post "Grade A" on foods, what does it mean?

I was eating my yogurt this morning, when I noticed the "Grade A" babel on it. I have seen it before, and on other foods, but I started wondering, what does the "grade A" stand for?

Is it some standard system, with some quality check? Does it mean anything at all?

I have yet to see any "grade B" or "grade C" foods out there.

I tried looking it up on Google and on Wiki, but with no results. So is there any significance behind the "grade A" labeling?
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Old 10th October 2006, 03:28 PM   #2
Lisa Simpson
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Quote:
Under the Grade A program, state personnel conduct inspections and assign ratings and FDA regional milk specialists audit these ratings, says Richard Eubanks, M.P.H., a senior milk sanitation officer on CFSAN's Milk Safety Team. "It's a rigorous process of inspection and auditing," he says, and "it covers from cow to carton," starting with the dairy farm and continuing through the processing and packaging of products at milk plants. Products that pass inspection may be labeled "Grade A."

The FDA Grade A milk program includes pasteurized milk from cows, goats, sheep, and horses. Raw milk and raw milk cheeses cannot be labeled Grade A, since they are not pasteurized and not covered under the program.
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/504_milk.html
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Old 10th October 2006, 03:50 PM   #3
snooziums
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Post

Okay. Thank you.

Hmm.... strange that Google or Wiki did not return that. However, I did not think to add "FDA" into the search.

However, if Grade A milk is basically pasteurized milk (as the article suggests), then why not just say "pasteurized milk" or just "pasteurized"? Seems like that would be a bit clearer than just "Grade A." Or, they could have put "FDA Grade A" to give some clue as to what source it was using.
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Old 10th October 2006, 03:52 PM   #4
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I am taking a nutrition class and this is one of the topics we have discussed. As to why...well, if the gubmint can make something obscure and hard to understand, they will.
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Old 10th October 2006, 04:27 PM   #5
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I know in the UK under European regulations we have Class A fruit that shops sell - there is no class B.
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Old 10th October 2006, 09:01 PM   #6
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You would need to go to USDA for their requirements - keep in mind though that frequently Grades can run like:Grade A, Grade AA, Grade AAA etc. Theoretically on this scale, Grade AAAAA is what we would expect Grade A to be and Grade A is what we would expect to be Grade F. Not sure why they would do it that way( ) but.........
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Old 10th October 2006, 09:05 PM   #7
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I like the standard for Grade AA whipped butter:

Quote:
Shall possess a fine and highly pleasing butter flavor.
How exactly does one determine what a fine and highly pleasing butter flavor is?
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Old 10th October 2006, 09:07 PM   #8
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My recollection of egg grades, A and AA, is that both are the same at packaging, but the eggs sent to a store with slow turnover get label "A", because it is expected that they will age a bit on the shelf. "AA" eggs are those in bigger stores, where they are expected to sell a lot faster. Both have dates on the box.
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Old 10th October 2006, 09:10 PM   #9
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Egg grades:

Quote:
'56.201 AA Quality.

The shell must be clean, unbroken, and practically normal. The air cell must not exceed 1/8 inch in depth, may show unlimited movement, and may be free or bubbly. The white must be clear and firm so that the yolk is only slightly defined when the egg is twirled before the candling light. The yolk must be practically free from apparent defects.

[38 FR 26798, Sept. 26, 1973. Redesignated at 42 FR 32514, June 27, 1977, and at 46 FR 63203, Dec. 31, 1981]

'56.202 A Quality.

The shell must be clean, unbroken, and practically normal. The air cell must not exceed 3/16 inch in depth, may show unlimited movement, and may be free or bubbly. The white must be clear and at least reasonably firm so that the yolk outline is only fairly well defined when the egg is twirled before the candling light. The yolk must be practically free from apparent defects.

[38 FR 26798, Sept. 26, 1973. Redesignated at 42 FR 32514, June 27, 1977, and at 46 FR 63203, Dec. 31, 1981]

'56.203 B Quality.

The shell must be unbroken, may be abnormal, and may have slightly stained areas. Moderately stained areas are permitted if they do not cover more than 1/32 of the shell surface if localized, or 1/16 of the shell surface if scattered. Eggs having shells with prominent stains or adhering dirt are not permitted. The air cell may be over 3/16 inch in depth, may show unlimited movement, and may be free or bubbly. The white may be weak and watery so that the yolk outline is plainly visible when the egg is twirled before the candling light. The yolk may appear dark, enlarged, and flattened, and may show clearly visible germ development but no blood due to such development. It may show other serious defects that do not render the egg inedible. Small blood spots or meat spots (aggregating not more than 1/8 inch in diameter) may be present.

[46 FR 39571, Aug. 4, 1981; 46 FR 42441, Aug. 21, 1981. Redesignated at 46 FR 63203, Dec. 31, 1981]

'56.205 Dirty.

An individual egg that has an unbroken shell with adhering dirt or foreign material, prominent stains, or moderate stains covering more than 1/32 of the shell surface if localized, or 1/16 of the shell surface if scattered.
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Old 10th October 2006, 09:20 PM   #10
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The grades are critical when you are doing the buying for a restaurant. It is very easy to see the difference between A and AA eggs on a plate, but not if you are using for a custard or batter. Same with butter.

The price difference adds up, so you don't want to be paying for a level that you don't need.

On a side note, when you see a new potato graded A or B it is for size, not quality (A's are larger).
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Old 13th October 2006, 08:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by zooloo View Post
I know in the UK under European regulations we have Class A fruit that shops sell - there is no class B.
Tesco have just started selling apples that are just apples and not picked out to look like a textbook apple. They call them "Mother's Special British Homegrown Real Apples" (or something like that ) rather than class B, but the idea's the same.
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