Meat & Poultry Processing Licenses

With few exceptions, all meat from livestock and poultry intended for human food must be slaughtered and processed in an establishment that is classified as "inspected" or "custom-exempt."

Inspected Facilities

Called "official establishments," the operations must meet minimum standards for facility construction, sanitary operation, and labeling of products. Each animal slaughtered at an official establishment undergoes an antemortem and postmortem inspection by a government inspector. The inspector will not allow diseased animals and animals unfit for human consumption to be slaughtered and processed for human food. Inspected meat products will bear a state or federal mark of inspection on the meat product or its packaging. In Indiana, inspections and licensing can be done under the state system or the federal system.

For more information about the state inspection system, contact the State Board of Animal Health's Meat & Poultry Division at 317/544-2405 or via email at animalhealth@boah.in.gov

More information about the federal inspection system is available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) website at: www.fsis.usda.gov/

Custom-Exempt Facilities

Custom exempt establishments are not subject to daily inspection of slaughter and processing activities. These operations must meet minimum state facility and sanitation requirements. Animals slaughtered at a custom exempt facility will not undergo an antemortem and postmortem inspection. Therefore, these meat products will not bear a state or federal mark of inspection.

Products must be marked "Not for Sale". Products produced at a custom exempt facility must go back to the animal owner for use exclusively in his/her household. The owner may personally use the products and may use them for his or her nonpaying guests and employees, but may not transfer any custom exempt product to another person.

For more information about the state inspection system, contact the State Board of Animal Health's Meat & Poultry Division at 317/544-2405 or via email at animalhealth@boah.in.gov