Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging Iowans to submit comments to the USDA about a recent proposal that could greatly impact small community meat processors. The proposal would significantly increase the amount of microbial testing mandated to be USDA-approved.
Calvin Groenendyk, owner of Leighton Processed Meats and Past President of Iowa Beef Processors says the new standards would be too costly for small-scale meat processors and would cripple businesses like his, while also disabling any sale of meat at venues such as farmer’s markets.
Groenendyk adds that meat processors already conduct multiple tests to ensure the safety of their products, and says if the new standards proposed by the USDA were put in place, only large-scale, corporate meat processors would be able to absorb the additional costs. Saturday is the deadline to submit comments to the USDA.