MSD Manual

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Professional Version

Inspection of Meat Processing


Kathryn R. Polking

, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Reviewed/Revised Jun 2022 | Modified Oct 2022

After carcasses have passed inspection and been deemed fit for human consumption, inspectors continue to verify the safety and wholesomeness of the meat products throughout processing, packaging, and labeling. Inspectors observe the establishment's sanitation and implementation of food safety programs, and they may review establishment records, reexamine products, or take samples for microbiological evaluation. All meat-processing establishments must maintain sanitary conditions and protect products from adulteration throughout handling and processing. Products that contain any unsafe or deleterious substance, that are packed or held under insanitary conditions, or that are filthy, putrid, or decomposed are considered adulterated and therefore unfit for food. Inspectors may take action at any time to retain unwholesome products and reject insanitary facilities or equipment. Inspectors may also retain products that are misbranded or incorrectly labeled.

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