Food Safety

USDA: How Government Shutdown Affects Meat, Poultry Inspection

October 1, 2013

The government shut down at midnight Oct. 1 as a result of the Senate and Congress failing to agree on an extension of government funding. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Washington, D.C., outlines its plans to continue field inspection of meat, poultry and egg products despite the government shutdown and lapse in funding. Meat and poultry inspection services will be provided even if the federal government is shut down.

1. Inspecting before and after slaughter those birds and animals intended for use as food for humans and supervising the further processing of meat and poultry products.

2. Ensuring that meat, poultry and egg products are safe and preventing the movement or sale in commerce of any meat or poultry products that are adulterated.

3. Applying foreign governments' inspection requirements and procedures to verify that products exported from the United States are safe.

4. Conducting emergency operations in connection with the voluntary recall of meat or poultry products contaminated with drug or chemical residues, other adulterants or microbial contamination.

5. Conducting epidemiological investigations based on reports of foodborne health hazards and disease outbreaks.

6. Monitoring allied industries to prevent uninspected or adulterated meat, poultry and egg products from illegally entering channels of commerce.

7. Providing pathological, microbiological, chemical and other scientific examination of meat, poultry and egg products for disease, infection, contamination or other types of adulteration.

8. Conducting a microbiological monitoring and surveillance program.

In addition, some senior management and other offices will be staffed as necessary to support those operations listed above.

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