A New Mexico facility has moved a step closer to becoming the first in the United States since 2007 to be allowed to process horses and ship the meat overseas.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week inspected Valley Meat Company. A. Blair Dunn, a lawyer representing Valley Meat Company, told The Associated Press that agricultural officials found no issues during the inspection and told owners they are recommending the immediate issuing of a grant of inspection.
Scott Safian, a director with USDA, previously made a recommendation for a federal grant of inspection, subject to Valley Meat Company satisfying the other requirements for inspection.
The agency's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) "continues to work with companies who have applied for a grant of inspection for equine slaughter," Catherine Cochran, a spokeswoman for FSIS, said. "Grants will not be issued until an establishment is able to produce a safe product in accordance with the Federal Meat Inspection Act."
Reprinted in part from Food Product Design