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e-CFR data is current as of January 22, 2021

Title 50Chapter IISubchapter G → Part 261

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries


§261.101   Standard description.
§261.102   Publication and removal of U.S. Grade Standards.
§261.103   Basis for determination of a U.S. Standard for Grades.

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621-1630.

Source: 61 FR 9369, Mar. 8, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

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§261.101   Standard description.

A U.S. Standard for Grades authorized under this part is a standard for a fish or fishery product that has been developed and adopted by the voluntary seafood inspection program pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.) and other authorities delegated to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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§261.102   Publication and removal of U.S. Grade Standards.

(a) The voluntary U.S. Standards for Grades adopted pursuant to this part shall be issued as Program policies and contained within the NMFS Fishery Products Inspection Manual. Compliance with voluntary standards issued as Program policies within the manual shall satisfy the requirements of this part. Compliance with a voluntary standard issued as a Program policy does not relieve any party from the responsibility to comply with the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; or other Federal laws and regulations.

(b) Notification of an application for a new grade standard shall be published in the Federal Register. If adopted, the grade standard shall be issued as a Program policy and contained in the NMFS Fishery Products Inspection Manual.

(c) Recision and revision of a U.S. Standard for Grades will be made a Program policy amendment and contained in the NMFS Fishery Products Inspection Manual.

(d) The NMFS Fishery Products Inspection Manual is available to interested parties.

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§261.103   Basis for determination of a U.S. Standard for Grades.

(a) To address the inherently distinct and dissimilar attributes found in the fishery product groups, each standard for grades should have a different scope and product description, product forms, sample sizes, definition of defects, etc. The Secretary will make the final determination regarding the content of a U.S. Standard for Grades.

(b) A proposal for a new or revised U.S. grade standard may include the following:

(1) Scope and product description, which describes the products that are eligible for grading using the standard (e.g., fish portion, fish fillet).

(2) Product forms, which describe the types, styles and market forms covered by the standard (e.g., skin-off, tail-on, headless).

(3) Grade and inspection marks, which describe the grades and inspection mark criteria for each grade category (e.g., Grade A ≤ 15 points).

(4) Grade determination, which describes the means by which the grade is determined (i.e., the factors rated by score points and those that are not). Standards may contain defect grouping limiting rules that contain additional provisions that must be met.

(5) Sampling, which describes the method of sampling and sample unit sizes (e.g., 10 portions, 8 ounces, etc.).

(6) Procedures that describe the process used to determine the product grade (e.g., label declarations, sensory evaluation).

(7) Definitions of defects, which outline the defects associated with the products covered by the standard, defines them, and describes the method of counting or measuring the defects. This section may provide associated defect points or reference a defect table (e.g., bruises, blood spots, bones, black spots, coating defects, 1-inch squares, percent by weight, ratios).

(8) Defect point assessment, which describes how to assess points and provides any special guidance that may be necessary to the particular standard (e.g., defect points for certain categories are added together and divided by the weight of the sample unit; the number of instances are counted to determine if it is slight, moderate, or excessive defect).

(9) Tolerances for lot certification, which provide the sections from Title 50 CFR that regulate lot certification.

(10) Hygiene, which specifies the sections of applicable Federal regulations regulating the safe, wholesome production of food for human consumption.

(11) Methods of analysis, which describe the methods of analysis that will be used in the evaluation of the products covered by the standard for grades (e.g., net weight, deglazing, debreading).

(12) Defect table, which is the table of defects and associated points to be assessed for each defect.

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