Blog Archive

Friday, April 1, 2011

Re: Farm to Institution Meeting in Macomb County April 14

Donna and others,

Selling meat directly to restaurants and other food establishments is possible if you meet all the requirements of the law. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for enforcement of the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Requirements include proper inspection, packaging, and labeling. Meat must be processed at a USDA inspected facility and bear the mark of inspection.

A copy of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development's "Buying Local - Approved Food Sourced for Food Establishments" is attached. It explains the rules in general terms. Since each marketing situation is unique, the best thing to do if you would like to sell meat directly to food establishments is to contact the USDA directly to determine requirements specific to your operation.

Michigan's USDA FSIS Office of Program Evaluation, Enforcement and Review, Complaince and Investigations Division is located in Oak Park. Stephen Parker is the supervisor and Constance Kiefiuk is the senior inspector. They can be reached at 248-968-0230, or by email: or Connie or Steve can also answer questions about seafood or poultry sales.

I hope this helps you get the answers you need!

Jeanne M. Hausler
Food & Dairy Communications
Michigan Dept. of Agriculture & Rural Development
525 W. Allegan, Lansing, MI 48933
517-373-3333 (fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: Donna Buechler [mailto:elmcrest@DREAMSCP.COM]
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2:52 PM
Subject: Re: Farm to Institution Meeting in Macomb County April 14

I guess I should have included more information. I do have my animals
processed at a USDA facility. The person from MDA said I needed that to
sell off the farm or at farmers markets. However I still couldn't sell to
a restaurant, school, or store unless I put up my own USDA packing
facility. When I asked him how the farm to school worked that I've been
hearing about he said the farmers have to sell to the USDA slaughter house
who in turn sell to the school. But this didn't seem like what I had been
hearing elsewhere. I also questioned him on the food coop in Marquette
that sells local farms meats. His response was the farmers who have their
meat in that store are members of the coop, therefore as owners they are
still selling directly to the consumer. I feel like if my meat is
processed at an approved (USDA) facility I should be able to sell to the
restaurant. Why do I have to add the middleman by making the
slaughterhouse by my meat and then resell it to the local restuarant???


> Unfortunately, it is true. The MDA License to sell large animals (beef,
> hogs, sheep, goat, etc.) is known as a "Custom Exempt" sale and can not
> be resold or served to anyone but the "purchaser." It exempts the
> preparation of livestock and poultry products from mandatory inspection
> when they are for the owner's own use, for use by members of the owner's
> household and nonpaying guests, or for persons employed by the owner.
> The FDA has jurisdiction over any sale for public consumption or
> resale. You would need to take your animals to a certified USDA
> processor to sell it to the schools, restaurants. or even for a wild
> game dinner which sold tickets. In this manner you could then sell it
> to the schools, etc. and it would be "stamped" with the facility's
> certificate number and the kill and process would be observed by an
> employee of the FDA.
> I hope that helps clarify the situation for you. Let me know if you
> have any other questions.
> Here are some links you might find helpful:
> USDA Custom Exempt
> <>
> Title 9 CFR Part 303
> <>
> Evan Smith
> Senior Operations Manager
> Cherry Capital Foods
> 807 Airport Access, Suite 111
> Traverse City, MI 49686
> Ph. 231.943.5010
> Cell 231.499.1511
> "Building a resilient and socially just food system."
> On 3/30/2011 1:50 PM, Donna Buechler wrote:
>> I have a question maybe some one knows the answer too. We raise a small
>> amount of pork and lamb. A local restaurant approached me about buying
>> lamb. When I contacted the MDA to get a license to sell my meat I was
>> told I can only sell direct to the consumer. I can't sell to a
>> restaurant, school, or store where it will be resold. How does the farm
>> to school program work then? Thanks in advance. Donna>
>> Please Share:
>>> Farm to Institution
>>> Marketing Opportunities
>>> Looking for new business in the local food economy?
>>> Instiutions can provide new, stable steady markets for Michigan
>>> farmers.
>>> Meet& Greet: Get to know school, hospital, distribution, and other
>>> buyers in one-on-one conversations!
>>> Q& A: Listen to a roundtable discussion with food producers and food
>>> buyers!
>>> Where: Clinton-Macomb North Branch Library
>>> 16800 24 Mile Road
>>> Macomb Township, MI 48042
>>> When: Thursday, April 14, 2011
>>> 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
>>> [Description: farm to school 1]Please RSVP to Kathe Hale at
>>><> or 586-469-6088 by Monday,
>>> April 4, 2011.
>>> Katherine E. Hale
>>> Extension Educator
>>> Michigan State University Extension
>>> Macomb County
>>> Verkuilen Building
>>> 21885 Dunham Road, Suite 12
>>> Clinton Township, MI 48036-1030
>>> Phone: 586-469-6088 ** Fax: 586-469-6948
>>> Cell: 810-358-8247 ** Email:
>>> Facebook<>
>>> Twitter<>
>>> MIfamilyliving blog<>

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