The Ohio Meat and Poultry Inspection program operated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Meat Inspection serves as the third largest state program in the country and not only maintains the predominant intrastate component, but also holds a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide an opportunity for selected establishments to produce products for interstate commerce. The mission of the division is to operate as a public health regulatory agency to protect the consumer by ensuring licensed facilities produce meat and poultry products that are safe,wholesome and truthfully labeled in a sanitary environment.
The division conducts daily inspection visits to all 177 fully inspected establishments to verify their implemented food safety systems. These food safety systems must meet the Sanitation Performance Standards, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulatory requirements to permit application of the mark of inspection to their products for sale in commerce. An additional 83 custom establishments are visited once every 2-4 weeks to verify implementation of the custom exempt regulatory requirements to permit the ability to provide a service to livestock owners producing not for sale products for personal use.
During daily inspection visits in fully inspected establishments, personnel conduct various verification activities specific to the processes within the facility that are documented in the Public Health Information System. These verification activities can consist of ante-mortem inspection, post-mortem inspection, sanitation inspection, humane handling verification, labeling verification, HACCP verification, residue sampling and product and environmental sampling for common foodborne pathogens. Comprehensive Food Safety Assessments are conducted by specially trained Enforcement, Investigations and Analysis Officers within the program to evaluate the overall adequacy of the implemented food safety systems in these facilities. Additional activities that the division is involved in are consumer complaint follow-ups, recalls and foodborne illness investigations.