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Types of Meat and Poultry Inspection

Meat and Poultry Inspection

Maintaining a safe, wholesome supply of meat and poultry products is a top priority for the Board of Animal Health (BOAH). Such products are inspected under several different inspection programs within the state of Indiana.

List of Indiana's State-Inspected and Custom-Exempt Facilities

State-inspected facilities

These operations are inspected by BOAH for proper handling, cooking, storage, processing, labeling and sanitation practices throughout the facility on a daily basis. In addition, in facilities that slaughter livestock or poultry, BOAH's staff inspects live animals for any signs of illness, defect or contamination. The carcasses of animals are inspected again, post-slaughter, for abnormalities. Any signs of disease or contamination are referred to a staff veterinarian for a decision on the disposition of meat as suitable for human consumption or not. Under federal law, inspection standards must be "equal to" those of federally inspected operations; however, state-inspected products cannot be sold outside of Indiana unless the product is processed under the cooperative interstate shipping program.

Products produced under state inspection bear the Indiana "legend"--a seal that indicates BOAH inspection occurred. These products may be sold in wholesale or retail outlets to the public, restaurants, supermarkets or other businesses.

Custom-exempt facilities

Custom-exempt facilities differ significantly from state-inspected plants. The facilities are not inspected on a daily basis, nor are the animals and meat products handled there. The buildings and equipment are inspected for proper sanitation and maintenance. Because the animals and meat processed are not inspected, the products may not be sold (donated or given away) to anyone other than the owner of the animal. Each animal presented for slaughter must be processed, packaged and returned to its owner for consumption within the owner's own home to his/her family and non-paying guests. Products are labeled "not for sale".

Cooperative Interstate Shipping (CIS) program

The Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Program is a joint venture between the United States Department of Agriculture and state meat inspection programs that enables qualifying state-inspected establishments to ship products across state lines. It involves state inspection with federal oversight to facilities that apply and are accepted into the program. 

Federally inspected facilities

These operations are inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) at the same standards used for state-inspected facilities.

USDA Directory of Federally Inspected Facilities