Why is all the milk in grocery stores “Grade A”? What is a lower grade and where is it?

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Why is all the milk in grocery stores “Grade A”? What is a lower grade and where is it?

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s an FDA quality regulation. In order to be sold for drinking, milk has to meet certain quality standards, which make it “grade A”

There is a grade B, which can be used for cheese and stuff, but not much milk is produced that actually only qualifies as B.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most of the milk produced in the US is Grade A. Only Grade A milk can be sold to be consumed as liquid milk in the US

There is also Grade B milk, but it can only be possessed into dairy products like cheese.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Grade A milk is the grade suitable for drinking directly as milk. It passes the highest quality standards.

The other grades that exist are AA, B, and C, though C is only used at the US state level, not the federal level. AA milk is exclusively used for making butter; you will never find “Grade AA” milk for purchase. B-grade milk does not meet the quality standards for being sold directly as milk, but it is of sufficient quality that it can be used for industrial purposes. This is the milk that gets used for making dehydrated nonfat milk powder and various other industrially-processed forms of milk. C-grade milk, per some state laws, fails to meet the requirements for any other grade, but is not considered to be “adulterated”–I can’t find any indications of what it would be used for, but my guess would be that this milk, so long as it isn’t *unsafe,* can be used in things that aren’t meant for human consumption/usage.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Everyone is talking about Grade A drinking milk and Grade B industrial milk and not actually defining the differences.

[This water disenfection company](https://www.go2intl.com/blog/how-does-grade-a-milk-differ-from-grade-b-milk/) (?) has a comparison table, and the main difference seems to be bacterial load. Grade A allows no more than 100,000/ml, while Grade B goes up to 1 million/ml. Additionally, farmers making Grade A milk have to follow “water body authority standards.” So there is some kind of oversight that is not present for Grade B.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Forty five years ago my dad hauled milk from farm to processing plant.

At that time, milk that was used for drinking was considered Grade A, while milk designated for cheese was Grade B. The farmer’s dairy and the processing plants were set up for one or the other so you were either a Grade A or a Grade B milk producer. Grade A producers had higher standards to meet but were paid more for doing so.

Every farm had a holding tank with an agitator and a refrigeration unit on it. The agitator was used to stir the milk & butter fat together, and it could be operated either automatically or manually. The farmer set it to run on auto, but we had to run it manually for 5 minutes before taking a sample of the milk. The sample would be tested by the processing plant for butter fat content percentage, and also for bacteria. Farmers were paid more per pound for a higher butter fat content. The bacteria count had to be within a certain level with Grade A being much more restrictive or the milk would be rejected until the issue was solved.

We also had to check the temp, it had a range also. Again, Grade A was a stricter standard. If the cooler portion of the tank was not functioning correctly and the milk was too warm it would get rejected.

In the Spring time cows would sometimes get through the fences and into fields they were not supposed to be in. Wild onions and Rye grass made the milk smell terrible, very much like the plants eaten. They milk was rejected since it would taint the rest of our truckload.

Sometimes a Grade A producer would have a problem that made their milk not acceptable for Grade A but it could be used for Grade B. The Grade A processing plant would call us to pick up that milk until the problem was resolved so the producer still could be paid although at the reduce rate. But sometimes the problem was bad enough that no one could use it, it would be dumped down the farmer’s drain without being paid.