The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and Arkansas have finalized a cooperative agreement under which state inspectors rather than federal inspectors may inspect meat products produced for shipment within the state.
Under the agreement, the state inspection program must enforce requirements “at least equal to” those implemented under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA).
With the addition of Arkansas, 29 states now have Meat and Poultry Inspection Programs (MPI). In states with MPI programs, establishments have the option to apply for federal or state inspection.
Products produced under state inspection is limited to intrastate commerce unless the producing establishment participates in the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. The FSIS reviews, at least annually, each state MPI program and its requirements and activities.
The federal agency provides up to 50 percent of the state’s operating funds, as well as training and other assistance.
In addition to Arkansas, the FSIS has signed state inspection agreements with Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Visit the FSIS website for more information about state inspection programs.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News,click here)