April 19, 2011
On Tuesday, April 19, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a final rule today to broaden the market for smaller, state-inspected meat and poultry plants. As provided in the 2008 Farm Bill, state-inspected establishments with 25 or fewer employees will be eligible to participate in a voluntary cooperative interstate shipment program, which will give them the option to ship meat and poultry products across state lines bearing an official USDA seal of inspection.
FSIS Administrator Al Almanza says of the rule, “Allowing these state-inspected establishments to ship their products across state lines has the potential to expand rural development and jobs, increase local tax bases, strengthen rural communities, and ensure that food is safe for consumers.”
State-inspected establishments that are selected to participate in the program will be required to comply with all federal standards under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA). State inspection personnel will be trained in the enforcement of the FMIA and PPIA, and meat and poultry products produced under the program that have been inspected and passed by designated State personnel will bear the official Federal mark of inspection for interstate distribution. FSIS will provide oversight and enforcement of the program.
The rule will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register later this week or early next week.
For the FSIS press release, click here.
To read the final rule, click here.
NSAC has been pushing for this rule for a long time. We are glad that it is now out and the program will go into effect soon. We plan to report further on the substance of the rule at a later date.
Categories: Local & Regional Food Systems