Are you familiar with the safe meat act?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dla, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    Our hog supplier says that we cannot legally even serve to others meat raised on our farm and slaughtered here, and that instead we must take it to a slaughterhouse. Obviously this may not be a rule everyone here follows, but I am wondering if it is true.
    What kind of health risks are trying to be alleviated?
    I tried reading the USDA web pages, but gosh, I'd have to be a lawyer to get through the "Safe meat act" stuff over there.
    Can anyone summarize for me?
     
  2. woolyfluff

    woolyfluff Well-Known Member

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    have your butcher cut and wrap BUT have him stamp it NOT FOR SALE then take and ask for a donationfor the price of the meat .This is the way we have to do when we cannot get inspected here in PA
     

  3. Kevin and Laura

    Kevin and Laura Well-Known Member

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    ARound here, people sell all sorts of homesteading stuff like meat and goat milk, they just have to mark it "not for human consumption". It's crazy what we have to do to eat and drink things that don't come wrapped in cellophane.

    Laura
     
  4. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm sure the rules vary from state to state and the US is not that different from our general regulations in Canada. You can't sell meat if it lacks a government inspection certificate, certain facilities have taken the time to bring in inspectors and other don't. Those that don't stamp the meat as not for sale. In my opinion, lacking that inspection certificate and selling meat is potential professional suicide. All it takes is for someone to come down with a flu, blame it on the meat and you are on the receiving end of endless inspections, interrogations and a potential lawsuit. Not enough reason for me to cheap out and save $25 on the total bill per animal.
     
  5. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Your processor is wrong on one count- home slaughtered meat can be served to "the farmer, the farmer's household, and any non-paying guests and employees". But yes, if you intend to sell pork, it's gotta go through a licensed, inspected USDA processor.

    The idea behind these laws is to protect the customer from unhealthy animals processed in dirty conditions. It was too easy for a unscrupulous farmer to chop up a hog mysteriously found dead and sell it, to drop a side of meat in the gutter, to try to "get my money back" from a TB suspect cow that couldn't be shipped.
    USDA Processors might not be much better, but at least there's some third parties there- veterinarians who are the meat and livestock inspectors, plant inspectors in the employ of the USDA.

    The main disease that hogs would be inspected for is trichinosis, which is almost extinct in US pork.

    Unlike milk, meat sold "not for human consumption" has to be MADE not fit- diesel fuel, carbolic acid, and green dye are the suggested seasonings. Yum!

    You probably have a custom processor around- the guy that slaughters and processes your animal for you to take home- not to sell. You could sell live pigs or shares of pigs and deliver them to the custom processor (remember, they're not your pigs anymore, you're just transporting them). The people who bought these pigs can then pick them up at the processor-they're picking up meat from pigs they owned.
     
  6. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    it's like homebrew, you can make it, you can consume it, you can give it away, but you cant sell it without the proper licences


     
  7. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    So, if I sell a piglet at birth for whatever it will be worth when slaughtered, and raise it for someone else's purposes, these laws do not apply?
    Does anyone else do this? How does it work?
     
  8. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Many states have state inspectors. State inspected meat can generally be sold within that state. USDA is necessary to sell across state lines.

    Custom processors sell "not for resale". Those animals are not inspected, but they assume if you are going to eat it yourself, you won't bring in something disgusting.

    You sell the animal, then haul it to the custom processor as a courtesy to the consumer. They pay you (before you haul it), then pick it up and pay the processor. Lots of people do this.

    I am a licensed meat broker in Illinois and use USDA processors. I am not allowed to have any "not for human consumption" (adulterated) stuff. I could still sell live animals and haul them to a custom processor for folks, but haven't had the need to do that.

    Check with your state dept of ag or public health department to see what rules apply to you.

    Jena
     
  9. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!
    Golly, I know a lot of rules are necessary to keep folks safe and healthy, but it sure kicks my idea of how to make a go of this farm in the pants every once in a while!
     
  10. poppy

    poppy Guest

    USDA is ran by and for the big packers. They don't want the competition. That's why they are fighting the country of origin labeling on meat. They want to continue bringing in beef from mexico, argentina, brazil, and other places without consumers knowing where it came from. They are truly global companies with zero allegiance to US farmers.
     
  11. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    COOL is a joke. It will solve nothing and cause far more problems for those of us who raise livestock than the packers. Tell me again how I'm supposed to verify that all my calves are actually born on my farm? My word is not good enough to say I have 100 cows and had 99 calves last year. I'm supposed to provide a paper trail that is able to be audited???? How again am I supposed to do that?

    Anyone who is for COOL is very much against US farmers as the burden of this worthless program will fall squarely on us.

    Jena
     
  12. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    selling a live animal does not apply, regardless of age


     
  13. poppy

    poppy Guest

    Jena, from what you have posted before about your operation, you should be at a big advantage selling USA beef. Lots of folks like me make it a point to buy our beef from growers we can trust. I don't like some of the COOL provisions either. But I think a declaration that beef is 100% USA is a plus. Right now, people who live in cities have no idea where the meat at stores like Walmart comes from. The big packers want it that way. If you don't protect your customer base, you can watch cattle farming go the way of hogs and poultry. You will become nothing but an employee of the multinational corporations, taking whatever they will give you for your cattle. And they won't give any more than they have to in Mexico or Brazil.