Opening a New Meat Processing Plant

Opening and operating a licensed meat facility can be expensive and challenging. Meat is one of the most intensely regulated food products in the country.  The Georgia Meat Inspection Section (GMIS) will work with you to make sure that you meet all licensing requirements and that you always comply with safety standards. Your operations will be inspected by either our program or the USDA Food Safety Inspection Services (FSIS).  Make sure to check with local city and/or county zoning laws before finishing your application for meat inspection.

First, find out what kind of license your business will need from our Meat Processing License Types page.

See this letter from our Meat Inspection Director about applying for a new license.

How to Apply for a License

  1. File an application for (State/Custom) inspection through GMIS using our Application for Inspection Form.
  2. Provide blueprints of the facility. Three (3) sets are required. Blueprints must include a floor plan, plumbing plan, and plot plan, along with a room finish schedule and door schedule. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service can provide assistance in obtaining blueprints. There are no requirements for who drafts blueprints but the blueprints must represent the layout and include all required information stated above.
  3. Confirm that you meet the Facility Regulatory Performance Standards as appropriate for your facility in the:
  4. Provide approved labels, stamps, and/or brands: follow the instructions in our Meat Inspection Label Checklist
  5. Provide required approvals, permits, and letters of guarantee:
    • Approved Local Water Potability Certificate (renew once a year for city/county water, twice a year for private wells)
    • Approved sewage system letter
    • Inedible Permit (can be landfills)
    • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for any chemicals used in plant
    • Letters of Guarantee for Product Ingredients
    • Letters of Guarantee for Packaging Materials
  6. Provide a written Sanitation Standard Operating Procedure plan (SSOP) (state applications only): see details on our Standard Operating Procedure for Sanitation page.
  7. Provide a written hazard analysis and HACCP Plan (state applications only): see details on our Meat Inspection Hazard Analysis and HACCP Plan page.
  8. Provide a written product recall program.

Once you complete these steps, contact us and we’ll pair you with a team member who can help with any questions and information. The approval process takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks on average. You’ll be responsible for voluntary or overtime charges beyond 8 hours per day, weekends, or holidays worked at approximately $28/hr. (Hourly rate is subject to change.)