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Grade Standards for Imported Raisins Amended; Input Sought on Proposed Standards for Frozen Onions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has amended the grade standards for imported raisins as well as raisins produced from grapes grown in California to remove the term “midget” from the marketing order. Paragraph (a) of Section 989.702 of the raisin marketing order specifies minimum grade standards for packed natural (sun-dried) seedless raisins, requiring small (midget)-sized raisins to meet U.S. Grade C tolerances with respect to pieces of stem and underdeveloped and substandard raisins. AMS notes, however, that the word ‘‘midget’’ is redundant with the term ‘‘small’’ and its removal is insignificant.

Separately, AMS is seeking input by 23 January on a proposal to create new grade standards for frozen onions based on a petition from the American Frozen Food Institute. The grade standards would provide a common language for trade, a means of measuring value in the marketing of frozen onions, and guidance on the effective use of frozen onions.

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