(a) No handler shall receive prunes from producers or dehydrators, other than substandard prunes and undersized prunes, unless such prunes meet the minimum standards for natural condition prunes set forth in § 993.97 (Exhibit A), or as such standards may be modified, or the more restrictive grade regulation established pursuant to this section, and then in effect: Provided, That no handler shall receive any prunes (including substandard prunes and undersized prunes) from producers or dehydrators unless such prunes have been properly dried and cured in original natural condition, without the addition of water, and are free from active insect infestation, so that they are capable of being received, stored, and packed without material deterioration or spoilage. Any “high moisture content prunes,” as described in the exception in § 993.5(b), in the possession of a handler, shall be held separate and apart from any prunes held by him. If such “high moisture content prunes” are dried or dehydrated to a point where they are capable of being stored, without material deterioration or spoilage, unrefrigerated or not otherwise artificially preserved, they shall be deemed, at that time, to have been received by such handler as prunes, and shall be subject to all of the conditions and restrictions of this subpart.
(b) The Secretary, on the basis of a recommendation of the committee or other information, may establish size regulations or more restrictive grade regulations with resepct to prunes that may be received by a handler from producers and dehydrators whenever he finds that such action would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act.
(c) In no crop year shall a handler receive from producers or dehydrators prunes, other than as undersized prunes, which pass freely through a round opening with a diameter as follows: For French prunes 23/32 of an inch, and for non-French prunes 28/32 of an inch: Provided, That the Secretary upon a recommendation of the Committee, may establish larger openings whenever it is determined that supply conditions for a crop year warrant such regulation. The quantity of undersized prunes in any lot received by a handler from a producer or dehydrator shall be determined by the inspection service and entered on the applicable inspection certificate.