b. The Act of 1968. All poultry slaughtered for use as human food and destined
for sale in commerce must be processed and handled in accordance with the 1968 Act
and its regulations. Mandatory Federal inspection service, except for overtime and
holiday work, is paid for by the government.
c. State Inspection Systems. States with inspection systems equal to the
Federal program conduct inspection in plants shipping within that state only (intrastate).
In states without such programs, intrastate plants are also under mandatory Federal
a. Voluntary Inspection Service. A voluntary inspection service is provided
under authority of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 for squab and game birds. The
cost is paid by the applicant. The requirements for the voluntary program are the same
as those for the mandatory program.
b. The Inspection Mark. The inspection mark on poultry or poultry products
means that they have been examined by a qualified USDA veterinarian (or by a
qualified inspector under the supervision of a veterinarian) during slaughter and/or
processing. All slaughter plants are supervised by a USDA veterinarian.
c. Inspection and the Listing of Official Establishments. Plants which apply
for inspection service and are accepted are known as official establishments or
approved plants. These official establishments are listed in the USDA publication
entitled "List of Plants Operating under USDA Poultry and Egg Grading and Egg
Products Inspection Programs."
d. Assigned Responsibility. Administration of both mandatory and voluntary
Federal inspection is the responsibility of the Food Safety and Quality Service (FSQS)
under the USDA.
1-10. POULTRY GRADING PROGRAM
a. Nationwide Marketing. Grading services aid in the nationwide marketing of
poultry and poultry products. They change from time to time as the types of products
available change. Today, less than 25 percent of all chickens and less than 20 percent
of all turkeys are marketed as whole bird. The rest reach the market in value-added
forms, such as cut-up parts, boneless and/or skinless cuts, and further processed
products. These products include a growing variety of freshly prepared ready-to-cook,
as well as pre-cooked, refrigerated poultry entrees. This array of poultry and poultry
products can usually be found year-round in the fresh and frozen meat sections of the