The Agriculture Department announced this week that its Food Safety and Inspection Service will host a red meat mobile slaughter unit information session Sept. 9.   The information session, which is part of USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative, is designed to educate farmers, ranchers, and processors about operating mobile slaughter units and meeting federal food safety requirements.

“This information session will educate small producers and processors on establishing mobile slaughter units and how to ensure the safety of the products so that they can receive the USDA federal mark of inspection,” said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza in a prepared statement.

Mobile slaughter units are self-contained slaughter facilities that travel to various locations for processing.  Typically, the units provide slaughter services to small, regional producers at conveniently located host farms.

FSIS-inspected mobile slaughter units provide a feasible option for small livestock producers to provide safe, wholesome meat to local and interstate consumer markets. Livestock that can be slaughtered at these mobile units include cattle, hogs, goats, and sheep.

On May 24, the agency announced it was releasing a compliance guide for mobile slaughter units.  The document presents recommendations but is not a regulatory requirement. The guide also explains how people can comment on the requirements.

At the Sept. 9 information session FSIS officials will explain how to apply for a federal grant of inspection and discuss inspection issues unique to mobile slaughter units.  Presenters from other USDA agencies, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute, and the Producer to Chef Program will speak about issues specific to mobile slaughter units.  

Federal grant and loan options will also be discussed.

The information session will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offices at 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15, in Carson City, Nev.
 The full meeting agenda is available on the FSIS Website.

Prior Food Safety News coverage of mobile slaughter units:

USDA to Hold More Info Sessions on Mobile Slaughter, Jun 14, 2010

Where’s the (local) beef?, May 27, 2010

Mobile Slaughter Unit Webinars Roll On, Feb 03, 2010

USDA Reaches Out To Small Meat Producers, Jan 22, 2010