final rule has been announced that will broaden the market for smaller state-inspected plants, giving select establishments the option to ship poultry and meat products, bearing an official U.S. Department of Agriculture mark of inspection, across state lines.

The rule, implemented by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, establishes a voluntary cooperative interstate shipment program. "We're excited to announce this new rule that offers smaller plants the opportunity to expand their market and sell their products to new customers," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. "Allowing these state-inspected establishments to ship their products across state lines has the potential to expand rural development and jobs, increase local tax bases, strengthen rural communities and ensure that food is safe for consumers."


In participating states, state-inspected establishments selected to take part in the program will be required to comply with all federal standards under the Poultry Products Inspection Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act. These establishments will receive inspection services from state inspection personnel that have been trained in the requirements of the FMIA and PPIA.