USDA hints at expanding limits on custom slaughterhouses

Published on September 14, 2021

USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) has an advisory committee – the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) – that is heavily tilted towards Big Meat. Concerningly, FSIS has asked the committee to provide recommendations on several aspects of custom exempt slaughterhouses.

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As a reminder, custom exempt slaughterhouses are regulated and inspected by the government under federal law, but they are not required to have an inspector on-site at all times, and they have reduced paperwork burdens. Meat processed in a custom slaughterhouse can only be provided back to the person(s) who owned the animal when it was processed.

These custom slaughterhouses primarily process meat for hunters and homesteaders. They also process animals that are co-owned by multiple people under “cow shares,” where each person owns a half or quarter of the animal.…

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