The Act. The Federal Meat Inspection Act, as amended, (34 Stat. 1260, as amended, 81 Stat. 584, 84 Stat. 438, 92 Stat. 1069, 21 U.S.C., sec. 601 et seq. ).
Adulterated Generally, impure, unsafe, or unwholesome; however, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act contain separate language defining in very specific (and lengthy) terms how the term “adulterated” will be applied to the foods each of these laws regulates. Products found to be adulterated under these laws cannot enter into commerce for human food use.
Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA) (as amended) provides USDA with the authority to inspect, certify, and identify the class, quality, quantity, and condition of agricultural products (including food animal products) in interstate commerce on a voluntary, fee-for-service basis that covers program costs.
Amenable Includes cattle, swine, sheep, goats, horses, mules, and other equines. USDA requires and provides ante mortem and postmortem inspection of these species as a condition for retail sale.
Animal means cattle, swine, sheep, goats, horses, and other large domesticated mammals.
Animal food. Any article intended for use as food for dogs, cats, or other animals derived wholly, or in part, from the carcass or parts or products of the carcass of any livestock, except that the term animal food as used herein does not include: (1) Processed dry animal food or (2) Livestock or poultry feeds manufactured from processed livestock byproducts (such as meatmeal tankage, meat and bonemeal, bloodmeal, and feed grade animal fat).
Ante Mortem Inspection “Ante” means “before” “Mortem” means “death” All animals presented for slaughter must receive ante mortem inspection by a FSIS inspector. The purpose of ante mortem inspection is to determine whether welfare has been compromised or there is any sign of any condition that might adversely affect human or animal health. The term refers to the examination that USDA meat and poultry inspectors are required to conduct of all live animals prior to slaughter.
Article 5-A Exemption. A New York State Agriculture and Markets rule as relating to the Licensing of Slaughterhouses. (Often quoted when referring to the on-farm exemption of poultry slaughter)
Carcass means all parts, including viscera of a slaughtered animal that are capable of being used for human food.
Certification The term “certified” implies that the USDA’s FSIS and the Agriculture Marketing Service have officially evaluated a meat product for class, grade, or other quality characteristics (e.g., “Certified Angus Beef”).
Cooperative Meat and Poultry Inspection Program Establishments have the option to apply for Federal or State inspection. Under the agreement, a State’s program must enforce requirements “at least equal to” those imposed under the Federal Meat and Poultry Products Inspection Acts.
Custom Exempt Custom exempt establishments are slaughter and processing establishments that are not subject to the routine inspection requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and Poultry Products Inspection Act.
Custom Slaughter- means a person, firm corporation or association who or which operates a place or establishment where animals are delivered by the owner thereof for slaughter exclusively for use, in the household of such owner, or him and members of his household and his non-paying guests and employees, provided that such custom slaughter does not engage in the business of buying or selling any carcasses, parts of carcasses meat or meat products of any animal.
Custom Slaughtered Meat- means meat from animals that have been slaughtered by a custom slaughterer for the owner exclusively for use, in the household of such owner, by him and members of his household and his non-paying guests and employees.
Cutting Any division of any carcass or part thereof, except that the trimming of carcasses or parts thereof to remove surface contaminants is not considered as cutting up.
Domestic Game Bird “Domestic game bird” means ducks, geese, brant, swans, pheasants, quail, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, Chukar partridge and Hungarian or European gray-legged partridge, propagated under a domestic game bird breeder’s license pursuant to section 11-1901 or a shooting preserve license pursuant to section 11-1903, or propagated on a preserve.
Dying, diseased, or disabled livestock. Livestock which has or displays symptoms of having any of the following: (1) Central nervous system disorder; (2) Abnormal temperature (high or low); (3) Difficult breathing; (4) Abnormal swellings; (5) Lack of muscular coordination; (6) Inability to walk normally or stand; (7) Any of the conditions for which livestock is required to be condemned on ante-mortem inspection in accordance with the regulations in part 309 of this subchapter.
Edible and For Human Consumption shall apply to any carcass or part or product of a carcass, of any animal unless it is denatured or otherwise identified as required by regulations prescribed by the commissioner to deter its use as human food, or is naturally inedible by humans.
Exemption The Secretary shall, by regulation and under such conditions as to sanitary standards, practices, and procedures as he may prescribe, exempt from specific provisions of federal and state law.
Exotic Animal Producer means any interested party that engages in the raising and/or marketing of an exotic animal for commercial purposes.
Exotic species. FSIS regulations identifies reindeer, elk, deer, antelope, water buffalo and bison as exotic animals eligible for voluntary inspection
Export – to send to a foreign country. Carcasses and live slaughter animals originating in the US but exported to another country are subject to additional regulations depending on the specifications of the importing country.
Farm Dressed Meat means meat from animals slaughtered by a bona fide farmer who, as an incident of such farm operations, slaughters his own domestic animals on his own premises exclusively for use, in his household, by him and members of his household and his non-paying guests and employees.
Federal Inspection means the meat inspection or poultry and poultry products inspection maintained by the United State Department of Agriculture.
Federal Law refers to the Federal Meat Inspection Act and all acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto.
Federal Meat Inspection Act The FMIA mandates that USDA inspect cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, and other equines, and the food products thereof, slaughtered and prepared in Federal establishments and foreign establishments exporting such products to the United States, that are intended for distribution in commerce (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The Federal meat inspection regulations (9 CFR Subchapter A) implement the provisions of the FMIA. The Federal meat inspection regulations (9 CFR 301.2) define “livestock,” “meat,” and “meat food products” as being of cattle, sheep, swine, goat, horse, mule, or other equine origin. The FMIA provides for exemptions from inspection of the slaughter of animals and the preparation of the carcasses, parts thereof, for meat, and meat food products at establishments conducting such operations for commerce when such products are exclusively used by an individual or households and, thus, are not sold. This provision is referred to as the custom operation exemption. The FMIA also provides an exemption from the definition of “meat food product” for products that contain meat or other portions of such carcasses only in a relatively small proportion or historically have not been considered by consumers as products of the meat food industry, and that can not be represented as meat food products. The Federal meat inspection regulations (9 CFR Part 303) also address exemptions from the requirements of the FMIA with regard to inspection, including custom operations and products that are exempt from the definition of “meat food product”.
Federal Plant Used synonymously for a USDA FSIS or FDA inspected facility.
Field Ante Mortem Inspection means the ante-mortem inspection of an exotic animal away from the official exotic animal establishment’s premises.
Field Designated area. This is the area on a farm designated for animal viewing by a licensed and practicing veterinarian to certify that the animal is healthy and can enter the food chain.
Field Harvest means dispatching the animal on the farm in a special designated area by a single specifically placed shot.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for regulating food, dietary supplements, drugs and more. FDA derives all of its authority and jurisdiction from various acts of Congress. The main source of the FDA’s authority is the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Under authority of the Federal Meat, Poultry and Egg Products Inspection Acts, FSIS inspects and monitors all meat, poultry and egg products sold in interstate and foreign commerce to ensure compliance with mandatory U.S. food safety standards and inspection legislation.
Foreign Trade. Commerce with a foreign country.
Further processing. Smoking, cooking, canning, curing, refining, or rendering in an official establishment of product previously prepared in official establishments.
Game or Wild Game means an animal, the products of which are food, that is not classified as cattle, sheep, swine, goat horse, mule, or other equine, as defined by the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry and Poultry Products inspection Act or as fish. Game animals include mammals such as reindeer, elk, deer, antelope, water buffalo, bison, squirrel, opossum, raccoon, nutria or muskrat or non-aquatic reptiles such as land snakes, bear, coyotes, or as defined in section 11-0103 of the Environmental Conservation law, taken by lawful hunting.
Grading a means for quality evaluation of traits related to tenderness, juiciness, and flavor of meat; and, for poultry, a normal shape that is fully fleshed and meaty and free of defects. Grading for quality is voluntary, and the service is requested and paid for by meat and poultry producers/processors.
Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS): is an FDA designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HAACCP) is a safeguarding management system that prevents food hazards of a biological, chemical or physical nature.
Inedible. Adulterated, uninspected, or not intended for use as human food.
Inspection refers to the examination of an animal, meat and meat product by an official inspector to certify wholesomeness and condition. Every part of the manufacturing process of meat and poultry must be carefully inspected. All ingredients and their amounts must be approved, as well as the handling and storage of processed meat products.
Inspection Legend—means a mark or a statement authorized by the provisions of the federal law, on a carcass, meat, meat by-product or meat food product indicating the product has been inspected and passed.
Inspector an employee of the government who ensures the safety of the nation’s meat, poultry, and egg products. FSIS inspectors examine animals before and after slaughter, preventing diseased animals from entering the food supply and examining carcasses for visible defects that can affect safety and quality. Inspectors also test for the presence of harmful pathogens and drug and chemical residues.
Inter-state movement of products exclusively within a states boundary.
Intra-state movement of products across state lines.
Label. A display of written, printed, or graphic matter upon the immediate container (not including package liners) of any article.
Labeling All brands and labels applied to carcasses, processed meat, wholesale cuts, and edible meat by-products must be approved by the FSIS. Inspection labels must contain the common name of the product, the name and address of the meat processor, and a list of ingredients in descending order of their content. Meat products from state inspected plants must also bear state approved labels which have similar requirements to those for federally inspected products
Livestock. Cattle, sheep, swine, goat, horse, mule, or other equine.
Mandatory Inspection This is an inspection of wholesomeness of animals, meat and food products that fall under the jurisdiction of the USDA FSIS. These inspections are paid for by tax dollars.
Mark of Inspection Meat that has been federally inspected and passed for wholesomeness is stamped with a purple mark known as the Mark of Inspection.
Meat means the edible part of the muscle of cattle, swine, sheep, goats, horses and other large domesticated animals which is skeletal or which is found in the tongue, diaphragm, in the heart or in the esophagus with or without the accompanying or overlying fat, and the portions of bone, skin, nerve and blood vessels which normally accompany the muscle tissues which are not separated from it in the process of dressing. It does no include the muscle found in the lips, snout or ears. Any edible part of the carcass that has been manufactured, cured, smoke, processed, or otherwise treated shall not be considered meat.
Meat broker. Any person engaged in the business of buying or selling carcasses, parts of carcasses, meat or meat food products of livestock on commission, or otherwise negotiating purchases or sales of such articles other than for his/her own account or as an employee of another person.
Meat by-product means any edible part other than meat, which has been derived from cattle, swine, sheep, goats, horses, and other large domesticated animals. This term shall apply only to those parts that have not been manufactured, cured, smoked, processed, or otherwise treated.
Meat food product- means any product capable of use as human food which is made wholly or in part, from any meat or other portion of the carcass of any animal, excepting products which contain meat or other portions of such carcasses only in a relatively small proportion or historically have not been considered by consumers as products of the meat food industry, and which are exempted from definition as a meat food product by the commissioner under such conditions as he may prescribe to assure that the meat or other portions of such carcasses contained in such product are not adulterated and that such products are not represented as meat food products.
Meat Label- means a display of written, printed, graphic matter authorized by the provision of the federal law on a container indicating the meat, meat by-products, or meat food products contained therein have been inspected and passed.
Multi-species product consists of two percent or more cooked meat or poultry obtained from one of the amenable species, three percent or more of fresh meat or poultry or 30 percent or more amenable fat.
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) the regulatory agency for agriculture and agricultural products in the state of New York.
Nitrite Sodium nitrite is a salt and used to cure meat and poultry products such as bologna, hot dogs, and bacon. Nitrite adds flavor and gives meat cured meat their characteristic color. Sodium Nitrite helps prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism in humans.
Nitrate Sodium nitrate, a “ chemical cousin” of nitrite, was used as a curing ingredient but is rarely used to cure meat today.
Non-amenable Any species other than cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, other equines, ratites (emus, rhea, and ostrich), and domesticated poultry (turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl). Examples of non-amenable species include bison, deer, quail, and rabbit. The USDA does not require ante mortem and postmortem inspection of non-amenable species as a condition for retail sale as it does for amenable species. A producer or processor can voluntarily request USDA inspection of non-amenable species for a fee
Nonfood compound. Any substance proposed for use in official establishments, the intended use of which will not result, directly or indirectly, in the substance becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristics of meat food and meat products, excluding labeling and packaging materials as covered in part 317 of the subchapter.
Not for Sale Stamp – indicates that a carcass was slaughtered without inspection under the custom exemption and that all meat products from it are ineligible for resale and are for consumption of the animal owner, immediate family and non-paying guests
Official certificate. Any certificate prescribed by the regulations in this subchapter for issuance by an inspector or other person performing official functions under the Act.
Official device. Any device prescribed by the regulations in part 312 of this subchapter for use in applying any official mark.
Official establishment. Any slaughtering, cutting, boning, meat canning, curing, smoking, salting, packing, rendering, or similar establishment at which inspection is maintained under the regulations in this subchapter.
Official exotic animal establishment means any slaughtering, cutting, boning, curing, smoking, salting, packing, rendering, or similar establishment at which inspection is maintained
Official import inspection establishment. This term means any establishment, other than an official establishment as defined in paragraph (zz) of this section, where inspections are authorized to be conducted as prescribed in §327.6 of this subchapter.
Official inspection legend. Any symbol prescribed by the regulations in this subchapter showing that an article was inspected and passed in accordance with the Act.
Official mark. The official inspection legend or any other symbol prescribed by the regulations in this subchapter to identify the status of any article or animal under the Act.
Packaging Any cloth, paper, plastic, metal, or other material used to form a container, wrapper, label, or cover for meat products.
Person. Any individual, firm, or corporation.
Post Mortem Inspection As used in the meat and poultry inspection program, the phrase refers to the inspection that Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors are required to conduct of all animal carcasses immediately after they are killed.
Poultry The term “poultry” means any domesticated bird, whether live or dead
Poultry Products Inspection Act The PPIA mandates that USDA inspect “poultry,” i.e., any domesticated bird, and food products thereof, slaughtered and prepared in Federal establishments and foreign establishments for export to the United States that are intended for distribution in commerce (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.). The Federal poultry products inspection regulations (9 CFR Part 381) implement the provisions of the PPIA. The Federal poultry products inspection regulations (9 CFR 381.1) define poultry as meaning any domesticated bird (chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, ratites, or guineas or squabs), whether live or dead. The PPIA also provides for exemptions from inspection of the slaughter of poultry and the preparation of poultry products, i.e., poultry carcasses or parts thereof. Among the exemptions, the PPIA provides for the exemption from inspection of the custom slaughter of poultry and the preparation of carcasses and parts thereof at establishments conducting such operations when such products are used exclusively by households and individuals and are not sold. Different from the provisions of the FMIA, the PPIA contains specific criteria for such exemptions based on the volume of poultry slaughtered or processed. The PPIA also includes an exemption from the definition of “poultry product” for products that contain poultry ingredients only in a relatively small proportion or historically have not been considered by consumers as products of the poultry food industry, and that can not be represented as poultry products. The Federal poultry products inspection regulations address exemptions from inspection, including an exemption from the definition of “poultry product” of certain human food products containing poultry, such as those containing less than 2 percent cooked poultry meat (9 CFR 381.15), and an exemption from inspection for custom operations (9 CFR 381.10).
Prepared. Slaughtered, canned, salted, rendered, boned, cut up, or otherwise manufactured or processed.
Process authority. A person or organization with expert knowledge in meat production process control and relevant regulations. This definition does not apply to subpart G of part 318.
Process schedule. A written description of processing procedures, consisting of any number of specific, sequential operations directly under the control of the establishment employed in the manufacture of a specific product, including the control, monitoring, verification, validation, and corrective action activities associated with production. This definition does not apply to subpart G of part 318.
Processing The terms “processed” and “processing” refer to operations in which the carcasses of slaughtered animals are, cut-up, skinned, boned, canned, salted, stuffed, rendered, or otherwise manufactured or processed.
Product. Any carcass, meat, meat byproduct, or meat food product, capable of use as human food.
Religions Exemption is intended to prevent conflicts between religious dietary laws and regulatory requirements.
Renderer. Any person engaged in the business of rendering carcasses or parts or products of the carcasses of any livestock except rendering conducted under inspection or exemption under Title I of the Act.
Retail The sale of commodities to ultimate consumers, usually in small quantities.
Sausage Kitchen This term applies to inspected establishments where sausage is made.
Seafood The term “fish” includes all fresh or saltwater finfish, molluscan shellfish, crustaceans, and other forms of aquatic animal life. Birds are specifically excluded from the definition because commercial species of birds are either nonaquatic or, as in the case of aquatic birds such as ducks, regulated by USDA. Mammals are also specifically excluded because no aquatic mammals are processed or marketed commercially in this country.
Shipping container. The outside container (box, bag, barrel, crate, or other receptacle or covering) containing or wholly or partly enclosing any product packed in one or more immediate containers.
Slaughtering The term slaughter refers to the act of killing livestock or poultry for use as human food.
State. Any State of the United States or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
State Inspection Establishments have the option to apply for Federal or State inspection. Under the agreement, a State’s program must enforce requirements “at least equal to” those imposed under the Federal Meat and Poultry Products Inspection Acts. However, product produced under State inspection is limited to intrastate commerce. FSIS provides up to 50% of the State’s operating funds, as well as training and other assistance. State programs (about half the states use them) must be certified by USDA to be at least equal to federal inspection requirements. However, products from state-inspected plants (most of them are relatively smaller operations) cannot be sold outside of the state.
Supervision. The controls, as prescribed in instructions to Program employees, to be exercised by them over particular operations to insure that such operations are conducted in compliance with the Act and the regulations in this subchapter.
Territory. Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, American Samoa, and any other territory or possession of the United States, excluding the Canal Zone.
Transport Vehicle refers to any vehicle used to transport animals.
U.S. Condemned. This term means that the livestock so identified has been inspected and found to be in a dying condition, or to be affected with any other condition or disease that would require condemnation of its carcass.
U.S. Inspected and Condemned (or any authorized abbreviation thereof). This term means that the carcass, viscera, other part of carcass, or other product so identified has been inspected, found to be adulterated, and condemned under the regulations in this subchapter.
U.S. Passed for Cooking. This term means that the meat or meat byproduct so identified has been inspected and passed on condition that it be cooked or rendered as prescribed by the regulations in part 315 of this chapter.
U.S. Passed for Refrigeration. This term means that the meat or meat byproduct so identified has been inspected and passed on condition that it be refrigerated or otherwise handled as prescribed by the regulations in part 311 of this subchapter.
U.S. Retained. This term means that the carcass, viscera, other part of carcass, or other product, or article so identified is held for further examination by an inspector to determine its disposal.
U.S. Suspect. This term means that the livestock so identified is suspected of being affected with a disease or condition which may require its condemnation, in whole or in part, when slaughtered, and is subject to further examination by an inspector to determine its disposal.
United States. The States, the District of Columbia, and the Territories of the United States.
USDA United States Department of Agriculture is responsible for the oversight of food safety in the US
Wholesale The sale of commodities in large quantities to retailers or jobbers rather than to end consumers directly.