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U.S. Department of Agriculture grades

The United States defines three grades. In these standards, soft berries, badly deformed berries, badly bruised berries, decayed or leaky berries, berries badly caked with dirt, and berries more than half of whose surface is not either red or pink are considered to be “seriously damaged.”

U.S. No. 1.

All one variety, or similar varietal characteristics. Minimum diameter ¾ inch unless otherwise specified. At least ¾ of the surface is red or pink. The cap is attached. “Firm, not overripe or undeveloped, …free from mold or decay and free from damage caused by dirt, moisture, foreign matter, disease, insects, or mechanical or other means.”

Grading tolerance: in any lot 10% may be offgrade, but not more than 5% seriously damaged and not more than 2% affected by decay. Not more than 5% may be below the specified minimum size. The percentages are by volume, not count.

U.S. No. 2.

The minimum diameter is 58 inch, and at least half the surface must be red or pink, no firmness or ripeness criteria other than that. Cap need not be present.

The grading tolerance is no more than 10% seriously damaged and no more than 3% affected by decay. Not more than 5% may be below the specified minimum size.

U. S. Combination

Combines grades 1 and 2, with at least 80% by volume of the berries in the lot and 65% of the berries in any individual container meeting the No. 1 requirements. Minimum diameter, ¾ inch.

In any lot, no more than 10% of the strawberries may be seriously damaged, and not more than 2% affected by decay.

30 Federal Register 6711, May 18, 1965; redesignated at 42 Federal Register 32514, June 27, 1977 and at 46 Federal Register 63203, December 31, 1981.


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