USDA Food Safety Inspectors are Required at All Federally-Inspected Beef Processing Plants

Myth: I don’t trust the safety of our meat supply because there are no guidelines in place for slaughter or inspection.

The Facts: The United States has worked hard to have one of the safest food supplies in the world. The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is required by law to provide inspection for all federally-regulated beef establishments. Without the inspector present, the establishment cannot process cattle for beef.

The Federal Meat Inspection Act, requires USDA inspectors to provide inspection of all live animals before they enter the slaughter establishment.  The inspector evaluates the animals to ensure they are healthy and fit for slaughter.  If animals are sick or have an injury the USDA inspector will deem the animal as not fit for human consumption, and the animal will not enter the food supply.

After the animal is slaughtered a USDA inspector will perform additional inspections to ensure the safety of the beef carcass. Once approved, the carcass is stamped with a non-toxic ink stamp to show that the animal has passed the USDA inspections. If a carcass does not pass the USDA inspections it is condemned, stamped as such, and does not enter the food supply.

All meat products are inspected by USDA inspectors before they leave the federally-regulated establishment.

Everyone plays an important role in the safety of our beef supply.  Cattlemen and women continually invest in beef safety research to expand the knowledge of beef safety.  The beef industry spends more than $550 million annual on safety research and implementation of beef safety interventions.  The Government provides food safety inspectors in all federally-regulated establishments and enforces the Agency’s regulations under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.  Consumers also play an important role in beef safety and should keep products refrigerated, surface areas clean and use a meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking of a safe product that American families can enjoy on their dinner table.

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