December 29, 2010

Agriculture Officials Suspend Exempt Status of Custom Meat Processor

The Missouri Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Inspection program temporarily halted custom exempt processing operations at Brinks Meat Processing in Salem, Mo. due to unsanitary practices.

During a routine inspection on December 28, 2010, two Missouri Department of Agriculture inspectors identified sanitation issues involving meat processing equipment and temporarily suspended the custom exempt processing permissions held by the business. A re-inspection was conducted the morning of December 29, 2010, at which time the sanitation issues had been corrected and the custom exempt processing permissions were reinstated.

Individuals doing business recently with Brinks Meat Processing should carefully examine any items processed by the facility before consuming those products. Customers are encouraged to contact local health officials with any food safety-related questions.

Custom exempt processing refers to work done for livestock owners in which the meat is returned only to the owner in specially marked packaging. Facilities operating under a custom processing exemption are not allowed to sell that meat to the public.

Brinks Meat Processing has processed meat primarily for livestock owners. This was the first suspension of these permissions for Brinks Meat Processing.

For more information regarding the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit