Cheese Grades

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The USDA grade shield means that the cheese has been inspected and graded by an experienced and highly trained government grader. And it means the cheese was produced in a USDA-approved plant, under sanitary conditions. It is your guarantee of consistent and dependable quality.

USDA Grade AA Cheese

Cheddar cheese meeting the U.S. Grade AA is the

highest quality. It meets exacting USDA standards,

has a fine, highly pleasing flavor, a smooth, compact

texture, uniform color, and attractive appearance.

To earn this grade, cheese must be produced with

special care — in the quality of the milk, cheesemaking

skill, curing or ripening process, and packaging.


The AA shield is assurance of consistently fine

Cheddar flavor and texture in every package.

USDA Grade A Cheese

Cheddar cheese meeting the U.S. Grade A is also of

good quality, but not as high as AA. The flavor is

pleasing. However, there may be more variation in

flavor and texture between packages.

USDA “Quality Approved” Cheese

Cheese and cheese products not covered by a U.S.

grade standard may be inspected and bear the USDA

“Quality Approved” inspection shield on the label.

Pasteurized process cheese, cheese food and spreads,

and cottage cheese are examples of cheese products

receiving USDA inspection.

To carry the “Quality Approved” shield, the product

must be manufactured in a plant meeting the USDA

sanitary specifications for plants and equipment.

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