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Food Safety and Inspection Service

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was established by the Secretary of Agriculture on June 17, 1981, pursuant to authority contained in 5 U.S.C. 301 and Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 (5 U.S.C. app.). FSIS is responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.

Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products Inspection Federal meat and poultry inspection is mandatory for cattle, calves, swine, goats, sheep, lambs, horses (and other equines), chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and guineas used for human food. FSIS provides for the inspection of each animal or bird at slaughter and processed products during various stages of production.

FSIS inspects all raw meat and poultry sold in interstate and foreign commerce, including imported products. It monitors meat and poultry products after they leave federally inspected plants. FSIS tests samples of egg products and meat and poultry products for microbial and chemical contaminants to monitor trends for enforcement purposes.

FSIS provides inspection at Federal facilities for meat, poultry, and egg products, as well as voluntary inspection for animals not covered under mandatory inspection regulations such as buffalo, rabbit, and deer. It monitors meat and poultry products in storage, distribution, and retail channels; and takes necessary compliance actions to protect the public, including detention of products, voluntary product recalls, court-ordered seizures of products, administrative withdrawal of inspection, and referral for criminal prosecution. FSIS also monitors state inspection programs which inspect meat and poultry products sold only within the state in which they were produced.

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