Building & Operating

Starting a Meat Business in Wisconsin

How do I get started?

In order to obtain a license for a meat business, new processors must meet several standards. State of Wisconsin meat plants must meet the same standards as USDA inspected meat plants. In 2000, all plants were required to implement a food safety system called HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point). A licensed meat establishment is required to implement HACCP plans and have an SSOP (Sanitation Standard Operating Procedure). Other requirements include meeting construction guidelines, having appropriate product labeling and approved formulations.

This brochure discusses basic requirements. Contact the Division of Food Safety regional office nearest you and speak with a meat consultant or inspection supervisor for more specific information about licensing.

DATCP-Starting A Meat Business


Wisconsin’s State Meat Inspection Program

Cleanliness. Wholesomeness. Safety. These are the standards of quality found in State of Wisconsin-inspected meat plants and products. The State of Wisconsin meat inspection program and meat establishments ensure that meat products produced in the state and sold to consumers comply with required standards for safety, purity and wholesomeness set by the state and federal governments. In fact, all products produced in a state-inspected plant must meet or exceed standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Division of Food Safety’s Bureau of Meat Safety and Inspection provides many services to its clientele. Those services include:

WI State Inspection Overview

USDA/NCDA&CS Facility Guidelines  for Meat Processing Plants

This Guidebook is intended for use by meat and poultry establishments in considering decisions about design and construction of their facilities, as well as the selection of equipment to be used in their operations. The material that forms the basis for this Guidebook is drawn principally from technical knowledge and experiences used by the Food Safety and Inspection Service in making its prior approval decisions about the acceptability of facilities and equipment.



USDA Code of Federal Regulations

Title 9–Animals and Animal Products:

Regulatory Requirements under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act-Sanitation Standards:

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems:


Iowa Meat Processors’ Resource Guide

This guide book explains the resources available at  the local, state and national levels to assist small meat producers who seek to begin, upgrade or expand their business. Additionally, this book gives an overview of the necessary business and regulatory steps along with where to find guidance for each step.

IA Meat Processor Resource Guidebook