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Archived - Potatoes
1. General Requirements

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This page was archived due to the coming into force of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. Archived information is provided for reference, research or record-keeping purposes only. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. For current information visit Food.

1.1 Grades

The grades and grade names for potatoes in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations ("Regulations") are:

Canada No. 1; and
Canada No. 2.

1.2 Similar Varietal Characteristics

All grades of potatoes are required to be of similar varietal characteristics within a container. This means that potatoes within a container are of the same general shape, skin colour, flesh colour or russetting of the skin. (Potatoes shall not be artificially coloured.) Therefore, long type potatoes cannot be mixed with round type potatoes, red skin potatoes cannot be mixed with white skin potatoes, yellow flesh potatoes cannot be mixed with white flesh potatoes, nor can russet potatoes be mixed with non-russet potatoes. However, for potatoes that are ¾ inches to 1 ⅝ inches (creamer) and 1 ½ inches to 2 ¼ inches (small), they may be of mixed colour and variety when packed in containers of 2.27 kg (5 lb) and 1.36 kg (3 lb) and under. *(TM)

Due to varietal characteristics of the potato, as well as fluctuations in growing conditions and growing seasons, the tuber shape (round, oval, long, oblong to long, elliptical to oblong, etc.) may vary. The tuber shape may also vary if the potatoes are harvested early, for example, small long types often are round.

The inspector will determine the tuber shape as either round or long, based on the visual appearance of the lot at the time of inspection. Many varieties are clearly round or long type. For other less obvious varieties the inspector must determine the type and flesh colour based upon the physical appearance, or when available by referencing the link at: Canadian Potato Varieties

On handwritten inspection certificates, the actual shape should be shown under "Product or Declared Variety" heading, i.e., Potatoes, Long Type. For yellow-fleshed potatoes, the flesh colour as well as the shape should be indicated, i.e., Yellow Flesh Potatoes, Long Type. The skin colour will appear under the "Colour" heading. For MCAP certificates, shape and colour information must be included in the "product description" field.

1.3 Properly Packed

Potatoes must be "properly packed", this means that:

  1. the potatoes are packed in a manner that is not likely to result in damage to the potatoes during handling or transport; and
  2. the container contains not less than the net quantity of potatoes declared on the label as determined by the net quantity verification system.

Potatoes meeting the above requirements and those as defined in Schedules I and II of the Regulations may be reported as "properly packed".

In some instances, there may be a correlation between fill and short weight. An applicant may request a weight inspection because of slackness in fill. For example, if such a weight inspection revealed that thirty per cent of the packages in a lot of produce were below weight, then the lot would be detained for underweight. On handwritten certificates, a statement on actual weights should be made on the certificate as well as the statement "mostly properly packed, many slack filled" under the heading "Condition of Vehicle, Load, Packages and Pack". For MCAP, this statement must be included in the "product remarks" field.

1.4 Properly Marked

The Regulations require that containers of potatoes shipped interprovincially be properly marked. All the general requirements on labelling are prescribed in Part II of the Regulations. All markings are to be provided either directly on the package or on a tag attached thereto.

The following table is an example of the proper markings that are required for each size designation for Canada No. 1 grade. The table does not include the special lot tolerances for size or conversion to metric or weight equivalencies. Those are explained further under size requirements.

Example of proper markings that are required for each size designation for Canada No. 1 grade.
Type Conditions Size Proper Marking
Round No conditions apply (see note) 2 ¼" to 3 ½" Canada No. 1
Round New potatoes marketed before October 1 *(TM) 1 ⅞" to 3 ½" Canada No. 1
Round *(TM) 1 ½" to 2 ¼" Canada No. 1, 1 ½" to 2 ¼" or Canada No. 1 Small 1 ½" to 2 ¼" or Canada No. 1 Small Round (cannot be marked Canada No. 1 Small)
Long No conditions apply (see note) 2" to 3 ½" Canada No. 1
Long Marketed inter-provincially only 1 ⅞" to 3" Canada No. 1, (1 ⅞" to 3")
Long New potatoes marketed before July 1 1 ⅞" to 3 ½" Canada No. 1
Long *(TM) 1 ½" to 2" Canada No. 1, 1 ½" to 2" or Canada No. 1 Small 1 ½" to 2" or Canada No. 1 Small Long (cannot be marked Canada No. 1 Small)
All types *(TM) ¾" to 1 ⅝" Canada No. 1 ¾" to 1 ⅝" or Canada No. 1 Creamer ¾" to 1 ⅝" or Canada No. 1 Creamer
All types No conditions apply (see note) 2 ¾" to 4 ½" Canada No. 1 Chef or Canada No. 1 2 ¾" to 4 ½" or Canada No. 1 Chef 2 ¾" to 4 ½"
All types No conditions apply (see note) 3" to 4 ½" Canada No. 1 Large or Canada No. 1 3" to 4 ½" or Canada No. 1 Large 3" to 4 ½"

Note: There are no conditions in regards to date, intended market and test market.

In addition, where potatoes are packed in cartons, they must meet the diameter, weight or count requirements and be labelled with either:

  1. A count designation. When marked with a count designation, the carton must contain the number of potatoes declared by the count designation within the tolerance specified in the regulations. The tolerance is that not more than 10% of the cartons shall contain up to 5% fewer or more potatoes than the count designation shown on the label. The potatoes shall have a minimum diameter according to the type and grade of the potatoes as well as meeting all other size requirements for the type and grade declared; or
  2. One of the size designations (minimum and maximum weight) set out in Table 1 of this manual. Although the size designation is expressed as a count, it is actually a size. For example, when 70 size potatoes are packed in a 50 lb carton, there will be approximately 70 potatoes in the carton. If 70 size potatoes were packed in a 20 lb carton, there would be approximately 25 to 30 potatoes in the carton. In both cases the declaration of 70 size is correct if the potatoes are within the specified range permitted for 70 size in the table which is a minimum weight of 255 g (9 oz) and a maximum weight of 425 g (15 oz); or
  3. A minimum weight designation. Where the potatoes are packed in containers that are labelled with the designation "283 g minimum" or "10 oz minimum", the potatoes shall have a minimum weight of 283 g (10 oz) as well as meeting all other size requirements for the type and grade declared.

Table 1

Size and Weight Designations
Item Column I
Size Designation
Column II
Minimum Weight
Column III
Maximum Weight
1. Under 50 425 g (15 oz) No Maximum weight
2. 50 340 g (12 oz) 539 g (19 oz)
3. 60 283 g (10 oz) 454 g (16 oz)
4. 70 255 g (9 oz) 425 g (15 oz)
5. 80 227 g (8 oz) 369 g (13 oz)
6. 90 198 g (7 oz) 340 g (12 oz)
7. 100 170 g (6 oz) 283 g (10 oz)
8. 110 142 g (5 oz) 255 g (9 oz)
9. 120 and over 113 g (4 oz) 227 g (8 oz)

1.5 Packages

Containers of potatoes shall be free from stains and shall not be so soiled, warped, broken or otherwise damaged as to affect the shipping quality or saleability of the potatoes packed therein. The containers of produce shall be securely closed in a manner appropriate for the type of container.

In addition, the Regulations require that potatoes be packed in new, clean containers, free of stains and should be reported as such. Packages used for field or storage containers are not likely to qualify as new containers within this definition.

Potatoes are currently packed in various types of containers, e.g., paper bags, plastic bags, jute sacks and cartons.

Standard containers for potatoes are:

1.36 kg or less (3 lb or less) *(TM)
2.27 kg (5 lb)
4.54 kg (10 lb)
6.80 kg (15 lb) *(TM)
9.07 kg (20 lb)
22.7 kg (50 lb)
34 kg (75 lb)
45.4 kg (100 lb)

Note: Canada No. 1 Small Round and Canada No. 1 Small Long potatoes may only be packaged in standard containers of 1.36 kg (3 lb) or less, 2.27 kg (5 lb), 22.7 kg (50 lb), 34 kg (75 lb), and 50 kg (110 lb)

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