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GRADES & GOOD ARRIVAL

Grades are divided into U.S. Fancy, U.S. No. 1, and U.S. No. 2 for lettuce. All three grades stipulate heads should have similar varietal characteristics, be well trimmed, and free from decay and insects.


Generally speaking, the percentage of defects shown on a timely government inspection certificate should not exceed the percentage of allowable defects, provided: (1) transportation conditions were normal; (2) the USDA or CFIA inspection was timely; and (3) the entire lot was inspected.

LEAF LETTUCE

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
12-6-3 5
4
3
2
1
15-9-5
15-8-4
14-7-4
13-7-3
12-6-3
32°

HEAD LETTUCE

U.S. Grade Standards Days Since Shipment % of Defects Allowed Optimum Transit Temp. (°F)
12-6-3 (all days) 15-9-5 32°

Canadian good arrival guidelines (unless otherwise noted) are broken down into five parts as follows: maximum percentage of defects, maximum percentage of permanent defects, maximum percentage for any single permanent defect, maximum percentage for any single condition defect, and maximum for decay. Canadian destination guidelines for head lettuce are 15-10-10-15-5.

References: DRC, PACA, USDA.

INSPECTOR’S INSIGHTS

• Tipburn (external or internal) is scored as a defect if affecting an area greater than a half-inch by one inch
• Russet spotting is scored as a defect when present on more than two head leaves, or when more than five spots are found on any individual leaf
• Yellow to brown discoloration from field freezing is scored as a defect when affecting more than 50% of the surface over the crown
• If one live or dead worm is found in head leaves, it is scored as a defect—yet up to five live or dead aphids or similar insects are allowed in head leaves before being scored as a defect.

Source: Tom Yawman, International Produce Training, www.ipt.us.com.

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This information is for your personal, noncommercial use only.