USDA Set to Allow Unlimited Poultry Processing02 April 2014
US - Munsell’s Poultry Processing in Livingston County, New Jersey, will be able to process unlimited volumes of poultry under a US Department of Agriculture inspection agreement.
According to LSJ.com, until now, Munsell’s had been considered a small enterprise, which limited it to 20,000 birds that could be processed each year.
Under the new certification, Munsell’s should begin processing unlimited amounts of poultry by late July.
The Munsell operation is part of Michigan’s strong agriculture industry, which grew from a $91 billion industry in 2010 to a $96 billion last year, according to state figures.
Gov. Rick Snyder highlighted the state’s agriculture industry in his State of the State speech in January, saying "ag is on a roll" as Michigan experienced 16 per cent growth in agricultural exports from the state to other countries over the prior year.
The Munsells’ business had about $150,000 in sales last year. Its federal inspection grant means poultry processed at the facility will carry a USDA sticker before it goes to market.
Most poultry raised in Michigan is processed out of state, then returned to Michigan’s store shelves.
Munsell’s Poultry Processing’s customers often raise 50-100 birds per year and either sell to family and friends once the chickens are processed or keep the finished product for themselves. Other customers raise up to 3,000 birds per year and sell to farmers’ markets and restaurants after their birds are processed.
The extensive approval process for the federal certification required training on humane handling of animals, creation of a "food defense plan" and several alterations to the Munsell’s facility in Howell Township.
The company employs 12 staff and has doubled its operation since opening in June 2011.
The Munsells hire additional workers to handle demand during the summer and autumn.
TheMeatSite News Desk