7 CFR § 52.53 - Approved identification.
(a) General. Use of the approved identification marks described and illustrated in Figures 1 through 10 of this section is restricted to processed products that:
(1) Are clean, safe, and wholesome;
(3) Are truthfully and accurately labeled.
(5) Meet applicable fill weight and/or drained weight, Brix or other characteristics of a commodity related to market value;
(6) Have been certified, or have been inspected and are eligible for certification, by an inspector; and, in addition, meet the specific requirements stated in (b), (c), and (d) of this section.
(b) Inspection (Continuous) grade and inspection marks. The official marks approved for use by plants operating under USDA continuous inspection service contracts shall be similar in form and design to the examples in Figures 1 through 10 of this section: Provided, That the official marks illustrated by figures 8 and 9 are limited to products packed by plants operating under an approved Quality Assurance type of inspection contract: And provided further, That the inspection marks illustrated in figures 1 through 4 may only be used on products packed by plants operating under USDA continuous inspection.
(c) In-plant inspection (other than continuous) grade and inspection marks. The official marks approved for use by plants operating under USDA inspection service contracts (other than continuous) requiring a resident inspector shall be limited to those similar in form and design to the examples in Figures 5 through 14 of this section; Provided: That the official marks illustrated by Figures 9 and 10 are limited to products packed by plants operating under an approved Quality Assurance type of an inspection contract.
(d) “Approved plant-lot inspection” grade and inspection marks. Processed products that are produced in an approved plant as defined in § 52.2 and inspected and certified by an inspector on a lot basis may be labeled with an official mark as defined in § 52.3 when adequate control and use is approved. The use of official marks for this type of service is restricted to grade marks (with or without plain shield) and/or the statement “Inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture” (with or without plain shield). The official marks shall be similar in form and design as illustrated in figures 11 through 14. Failure to have all lots bearing official marks either inspected and certified or certified as produced in an approved plant shall cause the debarment of the user from receiving subsequent services, and such other actions as provided for in the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946.
(e) Sampling marks. Processed products which have been sampled for inspection as provided in this part may, at the option of the Department, be identified by an authorized representative of the Department. The products are identified by stamping the container(s) comprising such lot(s), with an official “sampling mark”, similar in form and design to the example in figure 15 of this section. The “sampling marks” will identify products officially sampled by a particular field office. Such mark will include a code identifying the field office performing the sampling.
(f) Removal of labels bearing approved grade or inspection marks.
(1) At the time a lot of processed products bearing approved grade or inspection marks is found to be mislabeled, the processor shall separate and retain such lot for relabeling. Removal and replacement of labels shall be done, under the supervision of a USDA inspector, within the time specified by the Administrator or as may be mutually agreed by the processor and the Administrator.
(3) Clearance for the release of the relabeled product shall be obtained, by the processor, from the inspector.
(g) Licensing and identification of certain official devices. The Administrator may issue licenses permitting the manufacture, identification, and sale of any official device designated as a USDA color standard, defect guide or other similar aid under such terms and conditions as may be specified by the Administrator. Licenses shall be available to all persons meeting conditions prescribed by the Administrator, shall be nonexclusive, and shall be recoverable for cause. No person shall manufacture, identify, distribute or sell any such official device except at the direction of or under license from the Administrator. Such official devices may be marked, tagged or otherwise designated with the prefix “USDA” together with other identifying words or symbols, as prescribed by the license.
(h) Prohibited uses of approved identification. Except as specified in this section, no label or advertising material used upon, or in conjunction, with a processed product, as defined by these Regulations, shall bear a brand name, trademark, product name, company name, or any other descriptive material that incorporates, resembles, simulates, or alludes to, any official U.S. Department of Agriculture certificate of quality or loading, grade mark, grade statement (except honey and maple syrup which may bear such grade mark or statement), continuous inspection mark, continuous inspection statement, sampling mark or sampling statement, or combinations of one or more thereof.
(i) Disposition of labels bearing approved grade or inspection marks when a contract is cancelled. Upon cancellation of a contract, labels bearing approved grade or inspection marks shall remain under the control of the inspection service. The inspection service will approve disposition of said labels for destruction, sale or transfer to another approved plant, remove or obliterate the grade or inspection mark, or other action as may be agreed upon by all interested parties.