Food Safety & Labeling
Meat & Poultry
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection enforces Wisconsin’s meat inspection laws (see Wisconsin Statutes chapter 97, and Wisconsin Administrative Code chapters ATCP 55 and 57). Wisconsin’s meat inspection program must meet federal standards. Meat inspection laws apply to domestic livestock and some game animals. DATCP licenses and regulates:
- Slaughter and processing plants (except federally licensed plants)
- Rendering plants
- Animal food processing plants
- Dead animal collectors
- Businesses that buy, sell or transport meat
Animals must be slaughtered subject to state or federal inspection if their meat issoldfor human consumption. Slaughter and processing operations must comply with sanitation standards. Federal and state inspection programs now use a “hazard analysis critical control point” (HACCP) system that includes pathogen testing.
Federally inspected meat may be sold between states. State-inspected meat may be sold in Wisconsin, but federal law prohibits the sale of state-inspected meat to other states. This prohibition does not apply to state-inspected meat from captive game.
Meat must bear official inspection marks (showing state or federal inspection), and must comply with labeling requirements. Some meat packages must include safe meat handling instructions. Formulated meat products must have an ingredient statement (formulas must be state- or federally-approved).
DATCP may suspend licenses, and may issue holding orders and condemnation orders to stop sales of unwholesome, adulterated or misbranded meat. DATCP may also initiate civil or criminal enforcement actions in court. See Wisconsin Statutes section 93.06 and chapter 97.