The Delaware Department of Agriculture Food Products Inspection assures that domestic meat and poultry products distributed to consumers are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and honestly and informatively labeled.
Through the Food Products Inspection Program:
In 1967, the first major amendment to the Federal Meat Inspection Act was passed (the Wholesome Meat Act). It established the Federal-State Cooperative Inspection Programs to be “at least equal to” the federal inspection program. The 1968 Wholesome Poultry Products Act extended the same provisions to poultry inspection.
Food Products Inspection is pursuing a broad, long-term, science-based strategy to improve the safety of meat and poultry products and better protect public health.
The strategy will address food safety issues from the farm to the table, including proposed requirements for all federally and state-inspected meat and poultry plants, to reduce pathogenic microorganisms that can cause food-borne illnesses such as Salmonella and E. Coli 0157:H7.
Inspection begins with a review of a slaughtering or processing plant’s plans for facilities, equipment, and procedures to assure the plant will have a safe and sanitary operation. All animals are inspected before and after slaughter. After slaughter, each carcass and its internal organs are examined for disease or contamination that would make all or part of the carcass unfit for human consumption.
The USDA maintains cooperative grading agreements with State Departments of Agriculture and other State agencies.
Under these federal-state agreements, federal-state licensed graders perform their work throughout the State at point of origin grading various commodities. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) establishes basic grading policies and procedures.
The grade standards describe the quality requirements for each grade of a commodity, giving the industry a common language for selling and buying.