A custom exempt meat processor is defined in State and Federal law as a processor that does not require continuous inspection because they only process meat for the owner of the animal. The meat or poultry cannot be sold and can only be consumed by the owner of the animal, the owner’s immediate family, or the owner’s non-paying guests. The following are general food safety requirements.
- The facilities for custom processing must be constructed in such a manner that they comply and are approved by the Health District AND can maintain separation of custom processed meats from retail meats.
- The carcass or meat must be received in a safe, unadulterated, and honestly presented condition.
- Attach a tag, with the words “NOT FOR SALE” in large letters to all incoming carcasses; include a space to add owner’s name and date received. Add another space for a carcass number.
- Store all custom processed animals and animal products in a protected manner on separate shelves while in cold storage.
- A “NOT FOR SALE” tag, with a corresponding record number from the original tag, should be attached to any packages storing custom processed animals or animal products.
- Use a dedicated processing area to process custom processed meats. Any equipment used to process game animals or meat must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before it can be used for processing domestic meat, poultry, fish, ready-to-eat foods and other retail products.
- Keep a record (log book) of the name and address of the owner of each carcass, the species, date received, dressed weight and the assigned designated carcass number to the tag. Records should be maintained for at least 6 months and should be available during reasonable hours for inspection by the Health District.