Meat Inspection Act Law and Legal Definition

The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 is a U.S. federal statute. The Act empowers the Department of Agriculture to inspect all types of cattle including sheep, goat, and horses, when slaughtered and processed into products for human consumption. This Act aims to ensure quality of food by checking adulteration and misbranding. The Act not only applies to products processed in the U.S. but also to products that are imported.

The Act requires:

1. mandatory inspection of livestock before slaughter;

2. mandatory postmortem inspection of every carcass; and

3. sanitary standards established for slaughterhouses and meat processing plants.

The Food and Drug Administration Department will be responsible to inspect food items that are not listed in the Meat Inspection Act.

The Act is the predecessor of Wholesome Meat Act of 1967.