US Food Safety and Inspection Service and the State of Iowa Sign Cooperative Interstate Shipment Agreement

US Food Safety and Inspection Service and the State of Iowa Sign Cooperative Interstate Shipment Agreement

Published May 21, 2020

The Food Safety and Inspection Service and the state of Iowa have signed a cooperative interstate shipment agreement that may help with the meat and poultry shortage caused by COVID-19 by allowing state-inspected facilities to ship across state lines.

From the USDA and FSIS – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the State of Iowa have finalized a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement. The agreement was carefully reviewed and approved by FSIS over an 11-month period and will allow the State of Iowa to operate a CIS program, which provides an opportunity for certain state-inspected meat and poultry processors to ship their products across state lines.

The CIS program promotes the expansion of business opportunities for state-inspected meat and poultry establishments. Under CIS, state-inspected plants can operate as federally inspected facilities, under specific conditions, and ship their product in interstate commerce.

The CIS program is limited to plants located in the 27 states that have established a Meat and Poultry Inspection Program (MPI) and maintain “at least equal to” FSIS regulatory standards. The assigned state inspectors under the “at least equal to” program will remain as the plant’s onsite inspectors, provided they have the same training and inspect the plant under “the same” regulatory standards as their federal counterparts in FSIS-inspected plants. FSIS provides on-going oversight of the CIS program to ensure that participating states maintain and operate their “same as” programs in a manner that complies with all applicable federal statutes and regulations and follows FSIS directives and notices. FSIS also verifies that selected establishments in the CIS participating state remain eligible to participate in the CIS program.

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