Frequently Asked Questions about Poultry or Rabbit Exemptions - Meat Safety
Only poultry and rabbits may be slaughtered and/or processed under a PRE Grant. Poultry is defined as a live or dead domesticated bird. Ratites are not considered poultry. 25 TAC 221.12(b)(25), 25 TAC 221.12(b)(21)(E).
Yes – Chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, and squabs are considered poultry with regards to PRE grants. 9 CFR 381.1(b).
No – quail are defined as domesticated game birds and are not considered to meet the definition of poultry. 9 CFR 381.1(b).
No, the establishment owner holding a PRE grant may only slaughter or process poultry or rabbits of his/her own raising on his/her own property with his/her personal distribution of the carcasses and/or parts to retail customers, restaurants, or other retail establishments. 25 TAC 221.12(b)(21).
Yes, State law allows for a personal use exemption as described in HSC 433.006.
The establishment may sell live chicks or breeding stock. The establishment may not sell any other live chickens or live rabbits. Among other conditions, the establishment may not sell other poultry or rabbit products. In other words, no live animals can be bought or sold for slaughter by an establishment holding a PRE grant. Live animals may only be bought or sold as babies or as breeding stock. 25 TAC 221.12(b)21(B).
There is no regulation that states a holder of a PRE grant must slaughter and/or process poultry and/or rabbits inside a building. However, in the State of Texas, very low volume poultry/rabbit slaughter operations must be maintained in a sanitary condition. Part of maintaining sanitary conditions is the prevention of windblown contamination, regardless of weather conditions. This may be extremely difficult to do without a fully enclosed facility. Each operator shall comply with all requirements of 9 CFR 416.11-416.16, adopted under 221.11 of this title. 25 TAC221.14(c)(3).
An establishment owner holding a PRE grant may distribute carcasses and/or parts to retail customers, restaurants, or other retail establishments. Carcasses and parts therefrom that are prepared under a PRE grant to be sold through an off premise retail outlet, shall be packaged and the container marked with the slaughterer’s name, address, and the term “Exempted P.L. 90-492” in letters at least one-quarter inch in height. 25 TAC 221.12(b)(21) and 25 TAC 221.14(c)(5).
No, labels used in PRE granted establishments do not require approval. However, carcasses and parts therefrom that are prepared under a PRE grant to be sold through an off premise retail outlet, shall be packaged and the container marked with the slaughterer’s name, address, and the term “Exempted P.L. 90-492” in letters at least one-quarter inch in height. 25 TAC 221.14(c)(5).
Poultry/Rabbit Exempt (PRE) Grants and Custom Exempt (CE) Grants
Yes. An establishment may hold both a PRE grant and a CE grant. However, no establishment with a PRE grant may slaughter poultry or rabbits under their CE grant. In addition, no other poultry and/or rabbit products may be sold by the establishment (with the exception of live babies or breeding stock). CE granted establishments may still slaughter animals other than poultry and rabbits under their CE grant. Poultry Products Inspection Act, 25 TAC 221.12(b)21(B).
The slaughter of poultry and/or rabbits under a CE grant or a PRE grant are mutually exclusive activities. A CE granted establishment that wishes to slaughter poultry and/or rabbits under the rules of CE slaughter does not need to obtain a PRE grant. Any establishment that wishes to conduct PRE operations must obtain a PRE grant. Any establishment that holds a PRE grant is prohibited from conducting CE operations involving poultry and/or rabbits or poultry/rabbit products. Poultry Products Inspection Act, 25 TAC 221.12(b)21(B).
SSOP stands for Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures. This is a written plan used by the establishment to ensure and monitor sanitation in the establishment and ensure the production of a wholesome, unadulterated product.
Guidance for the development of an SSOP can be found in the MSA Consumer Guide, Chapter 5: Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP).