Oregon gets USDA OK to operate its own meat inspection program

Posted on in category Positive News tagged Meat , ODA , Oregon , Politics , USDA

Oregon is the first state on the West Coast to be approved for a state meat inspection program. Learn more here.

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — Oregon on Thursday became the first state on the West Coast approved to operate a state meat inspection program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just finalized a cooperative agreement with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to launch the program, aimed at providing economic opportunity and resilience for Oregon’s livestock producers.

The agreement grants ODA the authority to inspect meat products produced for shipment within the state. Under the agreement, Oregon’s program must develop, administer, and enforce requirements “at least equal to” those imposed under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA).

“I am so proud of our state, our partners, and the many ODA staff that helped make Oregon’s State Meat Inspection Program a reality,” said ODA Director Alexis Taylor. “Two years ago, in the middle of the pandemic, Oregonians and the ag industry came to us when they couldn’t move their meat products due to a shortage of inspection services. After much hard work, collaboration and determination, we designed a program that creates additional opportunities for producers and processors to grow and satisfy local demand.”

Federal law requires that meat sold for retail/wholesale markets be processed at a federal or equivalent state inspected facility. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, federally inspected facilities were booked months or years out, meaning Oregon meat producers couldn’t get their products into the market.