Inspection requirements for selling rabbit meat? #406107

Asked June 10, 2017, 6:23 PM EDT

Good Afternoon, I'm looking at the "Meat and Poultry Processing Regulations in Oregon – A Short Guide" and I'm a little unclear if the "voluntary" species, specifically rabbit, must be processed in a state-licensed facility or if they can be processed at an unlicensed home facility and still be sold to individuals, restaurants, and at farmer's markets (as I understand it, the voluntary part is just in regards to USDA inspection?). I'm looking to expand my extremely small-scale family operation to a slightly bigger, but still very small-scale operation with the option to legally sell a few rabbits here and there to local people and restaurants. At least in the short-term, I wouldn't anticipate selling more than 20 processed rabbits a month. Thank you! Rosie

Polk County Oregon

Expert Response

Rabbit is regulated by the FDA not the USDA. Therefore, to sell rabbit, you don't have to process under USDA inspection, but it should be in a FDA inspected facility. At the state level, that usually means a commercial kitchen that is county/state licensed or a state licensed poultry processor. To sell wholesale to a restaurant or retailer, they usually require that all their meat purchased is USDA inspected or at least coming from a state-licensed processor. This could include a state licensed poultry processor allowed to process up to 20K birds a year. However, meat processed in a state licensed facility cannot be sold out of state.
More information can be found here:

Rebecca Thistlethwaite Replied June 14, 2017, 2:01 PM EDT

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