Filed under: Uncategorized.
I have been contacted by an inspector from USDA and have been told that I am in violation of the law by selling my chickens without having them processed in a USDA inspected facility.
This is not true.
I am permitted to operate in New York State under an exemption granted under Article 5 of the food laws.
Under this exemption I may produce and process for sale up to 1000 chickens or 250 turkeys for sale direct to the customer without being inspected.
I assure all of you that we take the utmost care in making sure our chickens are clean and healthy at the time of slaughter and that our processing is kept clean and sanitary at all times. We use stainless steel sinks and counters and have new stainless tables on the way.
We use copious amounts of HOT WATER. Our chickens are sent immediately to the freezer to prevent growth of bacteria. Any of you who have seen our product can attest that the packaging and presentation are are well done and carefully stored.
I have always refrained from trying to sell my birds to restaurants or stores even when pressed to do so. I admit I have placed chickens at The Peoples Market of Lansing mistakenly believing that consignment was allowed. It is not. And our birds will be removed from there today.
On the matter of lamb
My price list shows cuts of lamb for sale. That was last season and we sold out. We raised three lambs this year. One for us and two as feeders for other people. These will be taken to a custom butcher for cutting as per the request of the buyer. We do not have cuts for sale this year. All lamb offered for sale must be processed at a USDA inspected facility. We have used Owasco Meats in Moravia in the past for this.
Next spring wee will again try to get enough lambs to offer cuts of lamb, and those will be processed at a USDA facility.
Don’t think for a moment that I have not tried to be aware of the rules and have kept my business within the law.
I think it is shameful that the USDA would waste time and energy in trying to put pressure on a small quality sustainable producer as myself.
I thank my customers and friends for tolerating this rant.