What’s on this page?
Meat processing rules and regulations are complex but not impossible to understand. In the words of one of our favorite processors, Will Harris of White Oak Pastures, “you gotta keep the meat cool, clean and covered.”
Maintaining proper temperatures, good sanitation, and protection from foreign elements (indoors and out) are all important aspects of regulatory compliance, among others. On this page we have links to several places to help get you started:
Q: What are the regulations? Who inspects what? How do I apply for inspection?
- Understanding the Different Types of Inspection
- Poultry Processing Regulations and Exemptions
- Regulation of Further Processed Meat Products
- How to apply for Meat and Poultry Inspection
But don’t just take it from us: for the final word on federal regulations, go to the source: the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). FSIS is the public health regulatory agency responsible for ensuring that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.
The FSIS website can be tricky to navigate, so here are a few useful places to start:
- How to use the FSIS Web Site
- Finding FSIS Directives
- How to Appeal an Inspection Decision
- askFSIS (get in-depth answers to your inspection policy and technical questions)
Q: I need a HACCP Plan. What is a HACCP Plan? How do I write one? Where can I go for help?
- What is HACCP?
- How to Develop a HACCP Plan
- Microbiology for Meat Processors (this will help you understand and write a HACCP plan)
- HACCP Help: International HACCP Alliance, State-by-State HACCP Contacts, Model HACCP Plans
Q: What are the rules for labeling my products? What about certifications like Organic or Kosher?