Meat Establishment Reminders

 Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Division of Food and Recreational Safety 2811 Agriculture Dr., P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708 


Division of Food and Recreational Safety

November 23, 2022 

Information and Resources for Wisconsin Meat Establishments 

Ahead of the upcoming holiday season, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) wants to remind the meat processing industry of regulations outlined in rule and statute. Compliance with these regulations is required of all meat establishments in the state. Training information and additional resources are provided. 

For questions regarding these updates, please call DATCP’s general meat line at (608) 224-4681. 

Appendix A & Appendix B Updates

In December 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) released updates to Appendix A and Appendix B. Establishments that use previous versions as support are required to either update to the new guidelines, or identify alternative support for verification by DATCP, by Dec. 14, 2022. Please keep in mind if changes are needed to the establishment’s food safety program related to these fundamental elements, revalidation may be necessary and required. 

In September 2022, USDA-FSIS hosted a webinar on these changes. A recording of the webinar and other information is available here. 

Reconditioning of Meat or Poultry Products

In September 2022, DATCP’s Bureau of Meat and Poultry Businesses (BMPB) provided information to all state-inspected meat establishments regarding how establishments can recondition meat products that become contaminated in the course of operations. In rare situations, product may incidentally drop onto the floor or contact an unsanitary surface during production. When this occurs, establishments are required to restore sanitary conditions, as per 9 CFR 416.15. 

DATCP’s BMPB encourages establishments to adopt a procedure in its Sanitation SOPs (SSOP) for reconditioning product that incidentally comes into contact with an unsanitary surface. If the establishment has a reconditioning procedure in its SSOP, it is not required to record corrective actions every time product contacts an unsanitary surface. However, if the establishment does not have a reconditioning procedure in its SSOP, it is required to take and document the three parts of its corrective action that meet the requirements of 9 CFR 416.15 every time a product contacts an unsanitary surface. 

For additional guidance, please review the letter issued by DATCP’s BMPB, which includes what must be incorporated into the establishment’s SSOP.

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Division of Food and Recreational Safety
2811 Agriculture Dr., P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708 

Wild Game Processing in Licensed Meat Establishments

All licensed meat establishments providing wild game processing within their licensed establishment must comply with Wis. Admin. Code §§ ATCP 55.03(11), 55.07(1) and 55.08. 

A meat establishment operator may custom process legally-harvested wild game at a meat establishment if the establishment notifies DATCP’s BMPB of its plans, and the establishment complies with processing, labeling and recordkeeping requirements applicable to custom processing of wild game under Wis. Admin. Code ATCP § 55.08. Operators are to handle, store and process wild game products in a manner that prevents contamination of other meat or poultry products. Garbage bags and other nonfood grade containers or bags are not permitted for wild game receiving or for storage. Wild game are to be accepted from clean and unadulterated wild game carcasses only. 

An establishment’s processing of wild game cannot be done during times that interfere with the slaughter or processing of other food animals. Time or space requirements apply for the adequate separation of these operations. At all times, wild game product(s) are to be stored separately from other meat or poultry products and clearly identified as a wild game product. Wild game products are to be labeled in accordance to Wis. Admin. Code ATCP §§ 55.03(11) and 55.08(2), which includes clear identification of the species. 

For additional guidance, call DATCP’s general meat line at (608) 224-4681. 

Signed Schedule Agreements

All meat establishments are required to have a signed scheduling agreement with DATCP’s BMPB as outlined in ATCP 55.03(12). The scheduling agreement should reflect the actual times when official, custom, and retail-exempt operations occur. This allows DATCP’s BMPB to provide efficient and effective inspection coverage. Meat establishments are not allowed to produce or label product bearing the marks of inspection during days and times outside of the identified schedule. In the event this occurs, product is considered misbranded, and any meat establishment found to be operating outside of its approved hours of operation may be subject to regulatory control action, potential recall of product in commerce, and other enforcement actions. 

Schedule changes should be communicated to the meat safety supervisor a minimum of three business days in advance to allow adequate time to adjust inspection schedules. If inspection coverage cannot be provided, the request will be denied. 

All products bearing marks of inspection must be produced under a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan, with a flow chart, hazard analysis, records, and supporting documentation. Any product labeled with the marks of inspection that does not receive the benefit of inspection and/or is not produced under a HACCP plan meeting the requirements outlined in 9 CFR 417 is considered adulterated and may be subject to regulatory control action, potential recall of product in commerce, and other enforcement actions. 

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Division of Food and Recreational Safety 2811 Agriculture Dr., P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708 

Establishments cannot produce and label multi-ingredient products without first submitting the formula to and receiving approval from DATCP’s BMPB. All products bearing the mark of inspection must be labeled according to the requirements outlined in ATCP 55.10. Product names and ingredient statements must match what is on the approved formula. Any product that does not meet these labeling requirements may be subject to regulatory control action, potential recall of product in commerce, and other enforcement actions. 

Opportunities for Meat Establishments

Gov. Tony Evers has continued to invest to improve the long-term viability of the state’s meat and livestock industry and strengthen the meat workforce for years to come. In this effort, DATCP has administered the Meat Processor Infrastructure Grant Program to support meat processors as they increase harvest capacity and expand infrastructure. The first recipients of the initial $200,000 were announced on May 5, 2022, and DATCP expects the second application period for an additional $200,000 to open in early 2023. 

Recognizing the need to supplement these grants for meat processors, Gov. Evers created the Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Resiliency Grants, investing up to $10 million in federal funds to continue to grow Wisconsin’s meat processing industry. Through this grant, meat processors were able to request up to $150,000 in grant funding. In October, DATCP announced that 91 recipients were selected to receive this grant funding. 

Made possible through governor’s $5 million investment in the Meat Talent Development, DATCP is offering tuition reimbursement for HACCP trainings held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. DATCP provided the first round of tuition reimbursement to eligible meat processors in August 2022. The next HACCP training is scheduled for March 2023. Once available, registration and training details will be available on the Meat Science and Animal Biologics website. 

Through the Meat Talent Development Program, DATCP and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls created a Humane Handling Institute (HHI). The HHI is a first-of-its-kind program to provide hands-on training for current meat industry workers in humane pre-slaughter handling, stunning and slaughter. As part of this program, up to two staff per small slaughter facility in Wisconsin will be eligible for tuition reimbursement for select courses aimed at critical regulatory challenges for small plants. More information is available on the HHI website. 

Sign up for email updates to stay updated on the upcoming HACCP training, Meat Processor Infrastructure Grant Program application window, and other opportunities. 

If you have questions regarding any regulatory requirements for meat establishments, please call DATCP’s general meat line at (608) 224-4681. Please also visit us online at to find additional resources. 

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