HACCP - Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point
IQA - Integrated Quality Assurance
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
PUFI - Processed Under Federal Inspection
USDC - United States Department of Commerce
Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 260 - regulations governing processed fishery products
Fishery Products Inspection Manual- USDC inspection procedures and guidance
This document was developed to assist program participants and marketers of inspected products to achieve their marketing goals while maintaining compliance with the applicable federal regulations and policies. It is the USDC policy to work cooperatively and constructively with program participants and users of inspected products. Violations of the Policy for Advertising Services and Marks will be referred to NOAA’s Office of the General Counsel for Fisheries on a recommendation for civil or criminal action.
Program participants and marketers are required to comply with the following:
1.) Labeling bearing designs, marks, and statements referencing participation in the USDC seafood inspection program must be reviewed and approved by the Seafood Inspection Program.
2.) The United States Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seals may not be used in advertising and marketing.
3.) All designs, marks, and statements must be truthful, not false or misleading, and comply with all federal laws and regulations. For example, the type of services received under the inspection program must be accurately conveyed in all product markings and advertising.
4.) Original and private label logos/brand names and their supporting statements may not use, incorporate, reference or closely resemble any official USDC mark, or be displayed in close proximity to an official USDC mark.
5.) All products marked at point-of-sale or cited in advertisements as having received USDC inspection services must be supported by USDC approved specifications or U.S. grade standards, and USDC approved labels.
6.) When a mix of USDC inspected and non-inspected products is offered at point-of-sale or in advertising, use of official marks or statements must appear on, or next to, inspected products only. Inspected products must be distinguished from non-inspected products.
7.) When a mix of U.S. Grade A, PUFI or “lot inspected” products is in advertisements, the majority of product must be U.S. Grade A and/or PUFI in order to use the statements, “Federally Inspected” or “USDC Inspected” over the entire ad, or to reference all products included in the advertisement.
8.) When a mix of U.S. Grade A, PUFI and lot inspected products is offered together at point-of-sale or in the same advertisement, it is appropriate to use the phrases “Federally Lot Inspected” or “USDC Lot Inspected” over the entire ad, or to reference all products when the majority of product has received USDC lot inspection services. Facilities that participate in a sanitation only program, must not state or infer that their products are USDC inspected.
9.) The statement, “U.S. Grade A Available,” can be used by Approved Establishments. The statements “USDC Lot Inspection Available” or “Federal Lot Inspection Available,” may not be used in advertising and marketing.
Should you have any questions or require assistance in applying the policies, call, email or write:
Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection
U.S. Department of Commerce/ NOAA Fisheries
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
PHONE: (301) 427-8300
FAX: (301) 713-1081
Identifies fishery products processed under USDC inspection in an approved establishment, and meets the highest quality level established by the applicable U.S. Grade Standard, published in the Inspection Manual.
U.S. Grade A®
May be used for:
Requires that the:
Identifies fishery products processed under USDC inspection in an approved establishment, inspected for safety, wholesomeness and proper labeling, and conforms to quality and other criteria in an approved specification.
Requires that the:
Lot inspected products are finished products, officially sampled according to USDC approved specifications.
May be used for:
Identifies lot inspected products for which no public claims will be made regarding USDC inspection.
Add a description
May be used on:
Identifies fishery products processed under a resident USDC inspector or an approved HACCP Quality Management Plan. Products are processed under a process control system that identifies controls for management commitment, food safety, wholesomeness, proper labeling, and sanitation.
Example: “Product of Vietnam processed in an establishment approved by the USDC Seafood Inspection Program.”
Identifies fishery products inspected during processing in an approved establishment for safety, wholesomeness and proper labeling by a USDC inspector.
“This product was inspected and certified by an on-site USDC Inspector”