The official standards were amended in July 1939 to provide a single standard for the grading and labeling of steer, heifer, and cow beef according to similar inherent quality characteristics. The amendment also changed certain grade terms for steer, heifer, and cow beef from “Medium,”“Common,” and “Low Cutter” to “Commercial,” Utility,” and “Canner,” respectively. An amendment in November 1941 made similar changes in the grade terms for bull and stag beef and established the following grade terminology for all beef: Prime, Choice, Good, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner. An amendment in October 1949 eliminated all references to color of fat.
In December 1950, the official standards for grades of steer, heifer, and cow beef were amended by combining the Prime and choice grades and designating them as Prime, renaming the Good grade as Choice, and dividing the Commercial grade into two grades by designating the beef produced from young animals included in the top half of the grade as Good while retaining the Commercial grade designation for the remainder of the beef in that grade. Other revisions in the standards for the Prime, Choice, Good, and Commercial grades were made to clarify them and to facilitate their interpretation. Standards for the Utility, Cutter, and Canner grades were not affected. These changes in the standards were a modification of a proposal by the Department to revise the standards in August 1949, and were adopted after careful consideration of comments received in writing over a period of months and those presented orally at a public hearing at Chicago, on June 28, 1950. In June 1956, the official standards for grades for steer, heifer, and cow beef were amended by dividing the Commercial grade into two grades strictly on the basis of maturity with beef produced from young animals being designated as Standard while Commercial was retained as the grade name for beef produced from mature animals. This change, which was suggested by the Cattle and Beef Industry Committee, was identical in principle to that proposed by the Department in August 1949.