Delaware Department of

Meat and Poultry Inspection

The Delaware Department of Agriculture has both state and federal inspectors, depending on the requirements of the individual establishment. Our inspectors apply meat and/or poultry inspection standards that are at least equal to those applied under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

In order to keep the consumer safe, meat inspectors:

  • Conduct sanitation inspection of the complete facility prior to daily startup of operations, as well as throughout daily operations. The inspector reports noted deficiencies in plant management along with recommendations for actions needed to correct the deficiency. These are recorded, with the inspector conducting timely follow-up to ensure compliance.
  • Conduct examinations of livestock to be slaughtered for evidence of disease, injury or abnormalities, segregates suspect animals for veterinary confirmation and reject animals in an unfit condition. The inspector supervises the proper disposal of contaminated animals.
  • Conduct examination of slaughtered livestock (e.g. carcass, organs, etc.), passing those fit for consumption, and rejecting or retaining for the state veterinarian’s attention those that show evidence of conditions that might render them unfit for human consumption. As necessary, the inspector will submit blood and tissue specimens for laboratory analysis.
  • Inspect the preparation, cooking, curing—including smoking, canning, or freezing—of meat and/or poultry products for conformity in kind, quantity, quality, and condition to assure adherence to the formulation, ingredient label, and documents.
  • Review and recommend for approval trade labels prepared for new poultry and meat products.
  • Perform formulation checks to assure safe levels of restricted ingredients.


Meat and Poultry Inspection License Application, under 3 Del. C. § 8709, applicants must apply annually for a license to operate an official establishment or others engaged (a) in the business of slaughtering any livestock or poultry, or preparing freezing, packaging or labeling, buying or selling (as brokers, wholesalers or otherwise), transporting, or storing any livestock products or poultry products for use as human food; or (b) in business as renderers or in the business of buying, selling or transporting any dead, dying, disabled or diseased livestock or poultry or parts of the carcass of any such animals (including poultry) that died otherwise than by slaughter during the fiscal year ending June 30.

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