Processing meat and poultry
Ensure safety of meat plants and processing facilities
Get the support you need through our inspection programs, grading programs, and registration for meat and poultry handlers.
Meat product grading
Our grading program assures consumers that the products they buy have gone through a rigorous review process by highly-skilled graders & auditors that follow the official grade standards and process standards developed, maintained and interpreted by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
All grading is performed by LDAF meat and poultry inspectors.
Plants and processing facilities
See our interactive map of state plants .
Inspection requirements and regulations
Our Meat & Poultry Inspection (MPI) program, authorized by the Meat & Poultry Inspection Law (RS 3:4201), ensures the wholesomeness and safety of meat and poultry slaughtered and processed in Louisiana.
Species that require inspection under the law are:
Ratites (emu, ostrich, and rhea)
Equine (not currently funded)
Squabs (young pigeons from one to about thirty days of age)
Meat inspection personnel enforce regulations for inspecting all livestock and poultry slaughtered and processed in state-inspected facilities. Inspectors also ensure that meat and poultry processing operations meet federal guidelines.
The Program’s Compliance Officers conduct surveillance and investigations of consumer complaints and suspected violations of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Law on products moving in commerce.
Our MPI program operates an accredited laboratory that analyzes meat and poultry product samples for accuracy in labeling and adulteration. The program reviews and approves all meat and poultry product labels to assure that accurate product information is supplied to the consumer. The program also offers a voluntary grading program for meat products using standards from the Agricultural Marketing Service and seafood inspection through the US Department of Commerce.
Apply for inspection
Contact the Federal/State Meat Program Office at (225) 922-1358 to inform them you intend to apply for inspection.
When your application is processed, you’ll be put in contact with a District Supervisor in your area. Next:
Learn inspection requirements from your District Supervisor.
Review the new plant checklist .
Complete a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) training class.
Prepare your HACCP and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedure (SSOP) plans.
Have any private well water source for your facility tested through the local health authority and obtain a copy of the test results.
Obtain a letter of approval from the local health authority for your facility’s sewage/sanitary wastewater system.
Get assigned an establishment number.
Submit product labels to the Federal/State Meat Program for approval and receive a grant of inspection.
Rabbit and other small animals
Rabbit, game birds, and other small animals are not addressed in the Federal Meat Inspection Act, so they fall under the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) rather than LDAF or USDA. See: LDH Parish Health Units Map to find contact information for your parish’s Sanitarian.
The US Department of Commerce (USDC) Seafood Inspection program is designed to inspect for specific seafood criteria as set forth in USDC guidelines. The program utilizes LDAF cross-trained licensed inspectors who issue Lot Inspection Certificates, Export Health Certificates, Certificates of Origin, and other USDC certificates. Personnel also perform sanitation inspections on a contract basis. Sanitation inspections of facilities are performed on an hourly contract basis.
You are required by law to register with LDAF or USDA if you deal in meat or poultry products in or for commerce, unless you operate under State or Federal Inspection. This applies to:
Wholesalers of any carcasses or parts of carcasses of any cattle, sheep, poultry, swine, goats, horses, mules, or other equines, whether the product is intended for human consumption or not
Public warehousemen who store carcasses or parts of carcasses of any cattle, sheep, poultry, swine, goats, horses, mules or other equines
Buyers, sellers, and transporters of any dead, dying, disabled or diseased animals or parts of carcasses of such animals (4D Operator)
Educational programs where carcasses or parts of carcasses are slaughtered, processed, or both
Any combination of the above
To file a complaint or inquiry related to meat inspection, contact the LDAF Federal/State Meat Program by phone, email, or mail. Please provide as much information as possible to allow us to better assist you with your issue, including your contact information.
Our policy is to provide meaningful access to individuals who wish to access our programs and services regardless of their national origin or limited ability to speak, read, write or understand English. Both TTY/TDD and voice users may initiate calls through the Louisiana Relay Directory by dialing 711 or by contacting them directly at Louisiana Relay .
Individuals speaking Spanish may dial 225-922-1359 to leave a voicemail request and email address.
Las personas que hablan español pueden llamar al 225-922-1359 para dejar una petición de correo de voz y correo electrónico.
In accordance with federal and state laws, LDAF is prohibited from discrimination in its programs and services on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, disability (including blindness), medical condition, marital status, veteran status, and political affiliation.
To file a complaint of discrimination, contact the LDAF Federal/State Meat Program main office or write to:
Director, Meat and Poultry Inspection, LDAF 5825 Florida Blvd., Suite 4003 Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Alternately, you may contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture at (866) 632-9992 (toll-free) or write to:
USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.