Labelling Requirements for Meat and Poultry Products
Grade Designation

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Since grades only apply to meat and poultry carcasses, and do not apply to individual cuts, labels or advertisements for retail meat cuts may only include an indication of the grade of carcass from which the retail cut was derived (e.g. the label or advertisement should include words such as "cut from" or other appropriate words that do not give the impression that the retail cut was graded when indicating the carcass grade). Additionally, grade names must be reproduced in full. An appropriate reference would be "Cut from Canada AA beef".

When retail beef cuts are derived from carcasses of:

  • one specific grade only, the label or advertisement declaration must make reference to that specific grade only (e.g., "Cut from Canada AA" or "Cut from USDA Choice")
  • more than one grade, the label or advertisement declaration must make reference to the lowest grade involved plus the words "or higher" (e.g., "Cut from Canada A or higher", or "Cut from USDA Select or higher").

Former grade information declarations on retail packages or in advertising such as "Cut from Canada A/AA", "Cut from Canada A/AA/AAA" and "Cut from Canada A Grades" are no longer acceptable.

Grade names that do not include the name of the country that established the grade must be accompanied by a declaration of the country of origin. For example, while "A" is an Australian grade, the appropriate retail declaration would be "Cut from Australian A Grade".


There are requirements surrounding the use of grades in advertising for some types of meat. Refer to Advertisement for Bulk Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb for more information.

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