Year-end is a common time for individuals to make donations to charities to take advantage of tax breaks. Livestock producers are getting in on the act by donating processed meat and meat products to local food pantries, soup kitchens and other organizations fighting hunger.
While these kind acts are extremely beneficial to the community, producers should remember that donated meat products are required to be processed under inspection at state or federally-inspected facilities. The fact that the individuals accepting the food are not paying does not change the requirement for inspection of the product.
“Inspection is in place to protect the public by assuring livestock and poultry products entering commerce are wholesome and not misbranded,” reminds Dr. David Bough, Deputy Director of Indiana’s Meat and Poultry Inspection Program.
For charities, in order to be sure the donated product has been inspected, look for a mark-of-inspection. All meat cuts and meat products will bear a state or federal stamp on the outside packaging. Individuals accepting meat donations should look for this mark on every parcel.
Federal Marks of Inspection State Mark of Inspection
Products produced at custom-exempt facilities may not be sold or given away/donated. These products come from the facility labeled “Not for Sale.”
To view a complete list of state and federally-inspected plants, visit the Indiana State Board of Animal Health website www.in.gov/boah/2504.htm.
Source: Board of Animal Health