The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and Agriculture Marketing Service evaluate meat products for class, grade, and other quality characteristics. Their findings are then represented on food labels as “Certified,” such as “Certified Angus Beef.” The word “Certified” can also mean a product meets standards defined by a third-party, non-governmental organization or trade group. In such cases, the USDA requires that the word “Certified” be printed in close proximity to the name of the certifying organization or standard, such as “Fair Trade Certified.”
Example of Certified:
Fair trade coffees from Brazil must pass a certification by the USDA in order to legitimize that the products have met the ethical standards for the workers.