How to apply for Meat and Poultry Inspection

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Image:USDA_Legend.jpgThe mystery explained, step by step.

Poultry inspection

There are seven steps to becoming an inspected meat or poultry processing plant. This process is often referred to as “obtaining a grant of inspection,” because the inspection agency grants you the right of inspection. Each step is explained on its own page. Each page offers examples of how to meet the step’s requirements and, where relevant, a link to the federal regulations that govern that part of the process.

If you are applying for a federal grant of inspection with USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), once you file an application and complete all the steps, an FSIS representative will visit your plant and, if things are deemed to be in order, the representative will issue a temporary (90 day) grant of inspection to allow you to validate your HACCP plan.

Twenty-seven states offer state meat and poultry inspection programs (Georgia and South Dakota inspect red meat only). The process for obtaining a grant of inspection from a state program will be virtually the same as for a federal grant. See if your state is listed here and contact the appropriate state agency before you begin the state-inspection application process. Some state inspection agencies may help you with your federal inspection application as well.

Microbial analysis

Step 1: Obtain Approved Water Source Letter
Step 2: Obtain a Sewage System Letter
Step 3: Facilities Must Meet Regulatory Performance Standards
Step 4: File an Application for Inspection
Step 5: Obtain Approved Labels and/or Brands
Step 6: Provide a Written Standard Operating Procedure for Sanitation
Step 7: Provide a Written Hazard Analysis and HACCP Plan

NOTE: This information has been adapted from the USDA FSIS document “Small/Very Small Plant Guide – Applying for a Federal Grant of Inspection for Meat and Poultry Establishments.” Our adaptation has changed the order of the 7 steps in the FSIS document and has added additional information. We strongly feel that you should confirm that you have access to potable water and wastewater disposal, and that you plan your facility (our steps 1, 2, and 3), before you file an application for a grant of inspection.

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