|Script: Door-to-Door Meat Sales
Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service Food Safety at home podcast
series. These podcasts were designed with you in mind - the consumer - who purchases and
prepares meat, poultry and processed meat, egg products for your family and friends.
Each episode will bring you a different food safety topic ranging from safe storage, handling,
and preparation of meat, poultry and processed egg products to the importance of keeping foods
safe during a power outage.
So sit back, turn up the volume and listen in.
Welcome to “Food Safety at Home.” This is Kathy Bernard with the Food Safety and
Inspection Service. I’m your host for this segment. With me today is Tina Hanes, technical
information specialist from FSIS’ Food Safety Education Staff. Tina and I will discuss
door-to-door meat sales.
Hello Tina, welcome to the show.
Thank you Kathy.
Tina, most consumers purchase their meat and poultry from retail stores. But some, may
purchase it from dealers who knock on their door.
What should consumers look for when buying meat and poultry from a door-to-door salesperson?
When considering whether to buy meat from a door-to-door salesperson, consumers must know
important information about the dealer and the company before making a decision to buy.
First, they should check the dealer. In most states, salespersons are required to have a state
license or permit to sell products door-to-door. Ask for a company brochure or retail sales
permit and take plenty of time to read it.
Consumers can check with the State Department of Agriculture to see if the company is
Is there anything else that consumers should check before buying?
Yes, make sure to inspect and read the label on the package or carton of meat before
you buy it. Insist on having the establishment number where the meat or poultry was inspected.
Beware of any dealer who wants you to purchase bulk quantities of meat and poultry that are
not properly labeled. Always ask the dealer to leave the box or labeling information if
individual products are not labeled.
What about the delivery of the products?
Be sure to check that the product has been carried in a refrigerated vehicle. If not, the
product may not be safe because bacteria that can cause foodborne illness multiply rapidly
above forty degrees Fahrenheit.
Tina, how can you tell if the quality of the meat or poultry is good before buying from
someone at your door?
Companies can choose to have the meat and poultry that they sell graded by the USDA. If the
product is graded, there must be a USDA grade shield or mark on the carcass, package, or
product label. This is the only mark of identity that indicates the product’s quality.
It’s also helpful to know which cut of meat or poultry you are buying. For example, you don't
want to pay top dollar for tenderloin and receive a cheaper cut such as a shoulder roast.
These are all good tips to keep in mind when deciding whether to buy meat or poultry from a
door-to-door salesperson, but what if you have already made the purchase and you change your
mind or if you are not satisfied with the product?
If you change your mind or are not happy with the quality of the product you have some
options. The Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off rule gives you three days to cancel your
sale. Check the sales contract or receipt because it may explain your right to cancel. If you
have a complaint about the company, try to resolve your dispute with the seller first.
And finally, make sure you act quickly. Send a letter of complaint. A letter is important
because it puts your complaint on record and lets the company know you are serious about
pursuing the dispute.
You can learn more about door to door meat sales by visiting the FSIS Web site at
www.fsis.usda.gov. Or visit us online for assistance from our virtual representative “Ask
Consumers may also call our toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-
MPHotline. That’s 1-888-674-685.
Well, that’s it for this week. We’ve been talking to Tina Hanes from FSIS’ Food Safety
Education Staff. Thank you so much Tina, for your helpful guidance on door-to-door meat sales.
I’m Kathy Bernard and I’d like to thank you for joining us for this episode of “Food Safety at
Home.” And remember, “Be Food Safe.”
Well, that’s all for this time. Thanks for joining us today for another episode of
food safety at home!
For answers to your food safety questions call USDA's toll-free meat and poultry hotline
at 1-888-mphotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854.
You can also get answers to food safety questions online from our virtual representative
"ask karen" at www.askkaren.gov .
Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending your comments to
Thanks for tuning in.
Last Modified: December 9, 2009