Georgia Department of Agriculture

Federal Poultry and Egg Graders

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USDA Agriculture Marketing Service - Poultry Grading Program

After meat and poultry are inspected for wholesomeness, producers and processors may request that they have products graded for quality by a licensed Federal grader. The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service ( is the agency responsible for grading meat and poultry. Those who request grading must pay for the service. Grading for quality means the evaluation of traits related to tenderness, juiciness, and flavor of meat; and, for poultry, a normal shape that is fully fleshed and meaty and free of defects.

USDA Agriculture Marketing Service - Shell Egg Grading Program

Inspection, for wholesomeness, is mandatory but grading, for quality, is voluntary. If companies choose to have their eggs graded, they pay for this USDA service. The USDA grade shield on the carton means that the eggs were graded for quality and checked for weight (size) under the supervision of a trained USDA grader. Compliance with quality standards, grades, and weights is monitored by USDA. State agencies monitor compliance for egg packers who do not use the USDA grading service. These cartons normally will bear a term such as "Grade A" on their cartons without the USDA shield.

New contact for grading service requests:

Fax: 1-844-450-2792

Using the above email or fax will send your request to all Georgia supervisory staff so that your service needs can be addressed more quickly.

For technical questions concerning poultry or shell egg grading programs contact:

Jeff Hendricks, Federal-State Supervisor
Phone: (770) 519-9572

Tom Davis, Asst. Federal-State Supervisor
Phone: (813) 442-9105

Will Holtzhower, Asst. Federal-State Supervisor
Phone: (770) 243-0710

When requesting grading services, a minimum of 24hrs notice is required for all fee services and additional staffing in resident facilities. Schedules for temporary service facilities should be submitted no later than Thursday on the week prior to the service needs.


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