Meat and Poultry Inspection Program
The Kansas Meat and Poultry Inspection Program is a cooperative state-federal program. It is responsible for administering the Kansas Meat and Poultry Inspection Act that governs the wholesomeness, proper labeling, and deceptive advertising of meat and poultry products. Our basic purpose is to provide for the inspection, labeling and disposition of animals, poultry, carcasses, and meat and poultry products that are to be offered for sale through commercial outlets for human consumption. The program inspects and registers commercial and custom slaughter facilities and meat and poultry processing facilities located in the State of Kansas. Federal law requires state inspection standards be “equal to” those of federally inspected operations and state inspected products cannot be sold outside of Kansas. USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service periodically verifies that our Program is at least "equal to" the Federal meat and poultry inspection program.
Requirements differ depending on the type and extent of meat slaughtering/processing and sales of products involved. Different types of meat businesses include custom exempt, retail exempt, inspected slaughtering, inspected processing facilities, or combinations of these. Consumers utilizing a meat processing facility should be aware of the differences between the types of plants in order to make an informed decision when butchering their home grown livestock.
At Inspected Slaughter and Processing Plants, continuous inspection is provided for commercial slaughter operations, and daily inspection is provided for commercial processing operations. Inspection coverage includes all aspects of intrastate slaughter and processing from ante-mortem (before death) inspection through slaughter, processing and to the retail level. The Kansas inspection legend will be applied only to wholesome carcasses and products slaughtered and produced that day. These facilities must be able to provide a clean and sanitary environment for the production of wholesome, unadulterated meat and poultry products. Products are sampled during inspection and sent to the Kansas Agricultural Laboratory located in Topeka. These samples are analyzed for economic wholesomeness, label guarantees, antibiotic residues, and are tested for harmful food borne bacteria. Laboratory support is also provided for veterinarians in their diagnosis of conditions found in livestock presented for slaughter. Each plant applying a Kansas Department of Agriculture inspection legend is assigned a plant number which is included inside the legend (below).
Custom Slaughter and Processing Plants are not inspected on a continuous basis. These facilities are inspected for construction and sanitation requirements but on a less frequent basis.
At the retail level, consumers can find meat and poultry products with either the federal inspection legend or the Kansas inspection legend indicating that the product has been produced with the benefit of inspection. Businesses may further process inspected meat and sell products without a legend on the package. The Kansas Meat and Poultry Inspection Program works with the Kansas Food Safety and Lodging Program to verify that meat products are safe and properly labeled. Both programs are dedicated to reducing the risk of contamination as meat products are produced, processed, packaged, distributed and prepared for consumption.
For questions contact:Kansas Department of AgricultureMeat and Poultry Inspection ProgramJulie Ehler, Program Manager109 SW 9th Street, 3rd FloorTopeka, KS 66612785-296-3511 Fax: 785-296-0673Office hours of operation: 8am - 5pm
For comments complete this Online Comment Form.
To file a complaint please fill out our Complaint Form.
The Meat and Poultry program is committed to ensuring the civil rights of all customers and employees. For more information visit the Non-Discrimination Statement.
Accessibility services are available at the Kansas Relay Center.
Revised - May 24, 2012