Question & Answers

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Custom Meat FAQs

Acting Program Manager: David Smith
To contact the customer service staff, please call (360) 902-1876 or Email Us

1. May I purchase inspected meat products and sell them to hotels, restaurants and institutions or service groups?

Yes, provided the meat product is wrapped or boxed in a sealed container and bears the marks of USDA inspection. All such transactions must be recorded as to type of product, net weight, and purchaser. Records must be kept for 6 months.

2. May I purchase inspected meat products in wrapped or sealed containers and sell smaller amounts thus breaking the original packaging?

Yes, provided sales of product originating from these opened containers are only to a household user.

3. How small a quantity of inspected meat product may I sell to a household user?

Any amount.

4. Is it lawful to manufacture cured product in my shop and sell it?

Yes, provided it is made wholly from inspected meat and is sold only to a household user.

5. Is it lawful to have my inspected meat product cured by another operator and sell it to a household user through my shop?

Yes, provided any packaging containing this product is labeled as to manufacturer, packer or distributor.

6. Is it all right to sell primal parts of inspected meat to a household user and custom cut and wrap it myself before delivery?


7. If I sell 5 pounds of hamburger meat or 3 steaks or other small quantities of inspected meat products to a household user, do I have to mark the packages "NOT FOR SALE" before delivery to the customer?

No, only uninspected meat or meat food products prepared by a custom meat facility licensee must be labeled "NOT FOR SALE" while under his control.

8. May I sell non-meat items such as seafood, poultry, seasonings, etc. from my shop?

Yes, however, other laws may govern their sale. ALL poultry items must have originated under USDA inspection if held for sale. Seafood may require special license from other agencies. This may be true of other saleable items.

9. Do I have to remodel my shop to conform to these new regulations?

Not unless existing facilities cause unsanitary conditions and can only be corrected by remodeling.

10. Can I have a retail counter in my shop for display and sales?

The Custom Meat Facility Law does not make specific reference to this type operation. The meat inspection section does not intend to- prohibit such displays. However, local ordinances may apply to retail type, sales in conjunction with the preparing of uninspected meat.

11. Can inspected meat product and uninspected product be cured or smoked together?

No. Commingling of these two types of product is prohibited.

12. Do I have to identify beef carcasses delivered to me for processing by the owner as to owner and address) slaughterer and address if different than the owner, date of slaughter and whether it was a branded animal?

Yes. You must use the department-approved tag.

13. How about sheep, hogs, and goats?

Yes. However, brand recording is omitted and you must provide appropriate tags for- these species.

14. How long must I keep records pertaining to transactions in my shop?

Six months.

15. Do I still have to prepare inspected and uninspected meat at different times and keep them separated in the cooler if not packaged?

Yes. Separation of unpackaged inspected and- uninspected meat and meat products must be reasonable and at all times while in your custody.

16. If a customer comes in that I know owns a restaurant or grocery store, am I allowed to sell to him as any other household user?

It depends on whether he is buying as an H.R.I. customer where his order includes whole packaging (pass through) or as a household user where you provide the packaging in smaller quantities.

17. Am I required to keep records on smokehouse temperature?

Yes. Each batch -that goes into your smokehouse containing pork must be recorded in a log book indicating date, type of product, time started, time finished, highest temperature attained during smoking and initials of the person making this record.

18. Can I put uninspected suet in game sausage?

No. All uninspected meat or products derived from uninspected carcasses must be returned to the owner or denatured and properly disposed of. The only exception to this rule is the hide which may be resold.

19. Is it lawful to sell inspected meat to any one other than a household user?

Only prepackaged inspected meat bearing the marks of inspection may -be lawfully sold to other than a household user.

20. Is it lawful to sell or barter uninspected meat?

No. Uninspected meat is for the sole use of the owner. The owner is considered the person or his agent delivering the uninspected meat for processing.

21. Am I required to provide each customer with a written record as to net weight delivered to him?

Yes. In the case of uninspected carcasses or parts of carcasses delivered to you by the owner or his agent for preparing, you must also provide a gross weight of each carcass to that owner on the same record.

22. Must I label all inspected meat or meat food products I sell to a household user as to net weight?

No. Only prepackaged meat food products held for sale require labeling as to price per pound, net weight and total price.