The purpose of this guideline is to answer questions concerning animal slaughter on residential property and /or custom preparation of animal carcasses in retail food facilities.

Slaughtering Animals on Residential Property

Owners slaughtering animals that have been raised by them on their premises for their personal use and/or use of their non-paying guests or employees are exempt from Federal or State inspection. State inspected slaughter facilities can slaughter an animal for an owner who has raised or recently purchased the animal and delivered it to the slaughter plant. Consider the following aspects when slaughtering animals on residential property:

·         Protect the potable water supply from contamination by blood, scraps, etc.

·         Do not allow the remains of the carcasses to serve as a location for insect breeding.

·         Properly dispose of the remains.

·         Non-inspected products may not be offered for sale to the public.

Custom Preparation of Slaughtered Animal Carcasses at a Retail Food Facility

In accordance with the California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law requirements and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, steps must be taken in the custom preparation of slaughtered animal carcasses that will eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination of USDA inspected meat or poultry.

·         Retail USDA inspected meat items must be kept separate and apart from the custom products at all times during refrigerated storage, preparation or handling.

·         Custom prepared products must always be marked “Not For Sale” immediately after being prepared and shall remain identified as such, until delivered to the owner and removed from the premises.

·         The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) requires that all equipment and utensils be cleaned and sanitized after use on custom products.  

·         Articles (including clothing, utensils or equipment), which inadvertently come in contact with any phase of the custom preparation, shall be cleaned and sanitized prior to being introduced into any area of the retail operation. Soiled clothing, cloths, etc., that have been in contact with any phase of the custom preparation shall be stored properly until they are cleaned.

·         Scraps or spoils resulting from custom preparation or handling are to be maintained in a manner that preclude contamination of meat approved for retail sale by the USDA while on the premises of a retail food facility.  It is to be labeled “Not For Consumption”, denatured and removed to a rendering plant to be disposed of in an approved sanitary manner.

·         The facility shall provide a water certificate from a laboratory verifying a potable water supply.

·         Proof of Pest Control Service shall be provided from a licensed company.

·         The facility shall be a registered plant with CDFA and maintain quarterly inspections and if there is a retail side an Environmental Health Permit shall also be posted.

·         The custom operators shall keep records showing the numbers and kinds of livestock slaughtered on a custom basis, the quantities and types of products prepared on a custom basis, and the names and addresses of the owners of the livestock and products.


*Document available in an alternate format upon request

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