The answer depends on the purpose of the business. If you are going to sell meat and/or poultry products wholesale, you must get a Grant of Inspection from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Meat Safety Assurance Section (MSA).
Note: "Wholesale" refers to a transaction where you sell the product to someone who then sells the product to the public, or where they use your product in the production of a product for sale to the public.
If you are going to slaughter livestock or poultry, other than your own livestock on your own property, you will need a Grant of Inspection from MSA.
If you are going to sell meat and/or poultry products in retail, you will not need a Grant of Inspection from MSA. You will need a permit from your city or county health department or the DSHS Retail Food Division.
Note: "Retail" refers to a transaction where you sell the product directly to the end consumer. Meat or poultry products sold in retail must be prepared from meat that originated from an "approved source."
Evidence that a meat or poultry product comes from an approved source is the presence of the product of a state (in the shape of Texas) or federal (circle) mark of inspection.
No. Meat or poultry products sold to the public, whether wholesale or retail, cannot be produced in a residence.
Yes. A "Personal Use Exemption" is included in the Meat and Poultry Inspection Act. It exempts you from the requirements for inspection when slaughtering your own animal, on your own property, for consumption in your household.
The term "amenable" means the animal species or products derived from those species are subject to inspection. There are some species that are amenable to state regulations, but not to federal regulations, such as quail and exotic wild game.
A "Custom Operation" is one in which a person or entity offers slaughter or processing services to the public for a fee. The animal to be slaughtered or the meat to be processed belongs to the customer, not the establishment. After the services are rendered, all the resultant material must be returned to the owner of the animal or altered in an approved manner to prevent its use as food.
Not unless you harvest exotic wild game for wholesale distribution. The Meat and Poultry Inspection Act defines an exotic animal as "... a member of a species of game not indigenous to this state, including an axis deer, nilgai antelope, red sheep, or another cloven-hooved ruminant animal." The processing of white-tailed deer is not regulated by the DSHS Meat Safety Assurance Section.
The Texas Meat and Poultry Inspection Act, Title 2, Chapter 433 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, provides the following definitions:
To clarify where quail is included, Meat Safety Assurance (MSA) has adopted the further definition of poultry provided in Title 9, Code for Federal Regulations, Part 381, as adopted by reference in Title 25, Chapter 221 of the Texas Administrative Code. More specifically:
As quail do not meet the definition of poultry, it is considered a domesticated game bird. As such, it is amenable to the Texas Meat and Poultry Act as livestock, but inspected under Voluntary Inspection as it is not amenable to the United States Meat Products Inspection Act or Poultry Products Inspection Act. In addition, quail is not eligible for poultry exemption because it does not meet the definition of poultry as described above.
Texas Department of State Health Services
Meat Safety Assurance Section, MC 1872
P. O. Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
DSHS Consumer Protection Division
1100 W. 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756