Script: Federal Grant of Inspection - Part 2
Welcome to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service podcast. Each episode
will bring you cutting edge news and information about how FSIS is working to ensure public
health protection through food safety. While we’re on the job, you can rest assured that
your meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe, wholesome, properly labeled,
and packaged correctly. So turn up your volume and listen in.
Hello and welcome! I’m Sheila Johnson with FSIS and I’ll
be your host for today’s segment. Today, we’re
continuing our series on applying for a Federal Grant of
Inspection for meat and poultry establishments.
Here with me again is Joan Collins, a program manager in
the Office of Field Operations. She has been with FSIS
for more than 20 years and has a great deal of
experience training front line supervisors on the
statutes, Rules of Practice and administrative
enforcement. Welcome back, Joan.
Thank you for having me.
Let’s summarize quickly on what we’ve covered. We’ve
talked about obtaining and completing an application
form from your respective FSIS district office.
Then you need to know how you must meet regulatory
sanitation performance standards, covered under Title 9
of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 301 through
592, with particular attention on Parts 416.2 and 416.3.
So, what’s next?
Okay, the next step in the process is to obtain approved
labels and/or brands for your product. After an
application for inspection has been filed, an official
plant number will be reserved upon your request.
What’s the significance of this number?
This number is used to identify all FSIS inspected and
passed products prepared in the plant, including all
carcasses from slaughtered livestock and poultry and all
packaged meat and poultry products.
All carcasses from slaughtered animals must be
ink-branded with the U.S. Inspection legend, which
includes this plant number. All packaged meat and
poultry products must have the U.S. Inspection legend,
with the plant’s number printed on the label of the
package. All the labeling material must be federally
approved and on-hand before inspection will be granted.
And whose responsibility is it to provide the ink brands
or devices for marking products with official marks of
It’s the plant’s responsibility.
Tell us a little about the label approval process.
Sure. To obtain approval of labels, you must fill out
and Submit FSIS Form 7234.1. The form is available from
our Website at www.fsis.usda.gov/Forms/index.asp.
If you have any questions as you are filling out the
form, please contact the Policy Development Division in
Omaha at (800) 233-3935.
You will need to submit two copies of FSIS Form 7234-1
and two copies of the sketch. For label approval for
animal production, imports and exports, religious
exemptions and certified pet food labels, you will need
to submit three copies of the form and of the sketch.
The sketch is a printer’s proof of the label with all of
the required features present.
You will then send the application to the FSIS Labeling
and Program Delivery Division. The mailing address is:
USDA, FSIS, OPPD
Labeling and Program Delivery Division
Labeling Distribution Unit
5601 Sunnyside Ave., Stop 5273
Beltsville, MD 20705-5273
Or you may fax it to (301) 504-0873. Keep in mind that
if you fax your application and it is not legible, you
will be asked to resubmit it.
In previous podcasts, we covered the generic label
approval process, as well as the eight features required
on a label sketch.
Yes, I would suggest listeners go back and listen to
those podcasts and also contact the Labeling and Program
Delivery Division at (301) 504-0879.
OK. You’ve received the label and brand approval. What
is the next step?
Now you need to obtain an approved water source letter.
If the water entering your plant is supplied by a
municipal water supply system such as a city, county, or
other public water system, the letter is issued by the
Municipality, the State Public Health Service or its
What if the water is being supplied from a private water
If the water is from a private water supply such as a
private well, the letter must be issued by the state
public health service or the appropriate county office.
If the water is supplied from private wells, the letter
must state that the wells are on the premises of the
establishment and are effectively protected from
So, are there common requirements on these letters
despite where they come from?
Yes, no matter where the letter is from, it should
identify the source, state that the source is approved,
and that the water is potable and meets tests prescribed
by the Environmental Protection Agency in its “Drinking
In addition to the water approval letter, a current
acceptable water laboratory sample report – water
potability certification – must be on file before
inspection is granted.
Are there sample letters for approved water that a plant
owner can look at?
Yes, these samples can be found on the FSIS Web site.
Just type in “Sample Letter for Approved Water” in the
Great! What’s the next step in the process?
Now you need to obtain an approved sewage system letter.
State or local health authorities can provide a letter
stating that the plant’s sewage system is acceptable. If
State and Local authorities certify the water source,
they may certify the sewage system in the same letter.
Even though it‘s not required as part of the process to
obtain a grant of inspection, your local or state
authorities may require you to complete some additional
steps, such as purchasing permits or licenses to
And, a sample letter for approved sewage system can be
found on the FSIS Web site as well?
Yes. And if you have any questions about these steps,
the Front Line Supervisor from the District servicing
area will be glad to help you.
Well, we’ve come to the end of this session.
Thank you, Joan, for sharing this valuable information
on the process to apply for a Federal Grant of
You’re welcome, Sheila.
To our listeners, thanks for tuning in today. Join us
next time as we conclude our series on applying for a
Federal Grant of Inspection.
Well, that’s all for this episode. We’d like your feedback on our podcast. Or if you
have ideas for future podcasts, send us an e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about food safety, try our web site at
www.fsis.usda.gov. Thanks for tuning
Last Modified: November 4, 2009