The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced an update to the voluntary U.S. Classes, Standards, and Grades for poultry (poultry standards) to ensure they align with the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service definitions for “roaster and roasting chickens” used in labeling compliance. This update became effective August 6, 2018 with publication in the  Federal Register.

The update lowers the age requirement for the “roaster and roasting chickens” class of poultry and identifies the ready-to-cook weight as 5.5 pounds or more.

USDA standards allow agricultural businesses and consumers to identify a commodity by uniform quality, yield or value standards, called grades, to help facilitate the marketing of U.S. agricultural products. More information is available on the USDA Poultry Standards page of the AMS website.

If you have questions, please contact Richard Lawson, National Poultry Supervisor, at 202-690-3166 or by email at