The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a final rule on Tuesday that will broaden the market for smaller state-inspected plants. By participating in this voluntary cooperative interstate shipment program, select establishments will have the option to ship meat and poultry products, bearing an official USDA mark of inspection, across state lines. Until now, only federally inspected meat and poultry was allowed into interstate commerce.
"We're excited to announce this new rule that offers smaller plants the opportunity to expand their market and sell their products to new customers," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. "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."
In participating states, state-inspected establishments selected to take part in this program will be required to comply with all federal standards under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA). These establishments will receive inspection services from state inspection personnel that have been trained in the requirements of the FMIA and PPIA.
To view the final rule, visit www.fsis.usda.gov.