Information and Resources for the Processing and Sale of Rabbit Meat
Why is rabbit processing now regulated by the NCDA&CS Food & Drug Protection Division?
Traditionally, rabbit processing has been regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture and NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division (MPID). In 2009, regulatory authority for rabbits as food shifted to the FDA and NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division. The exemptions and licensing previously required by NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division did not carryover; specifically 1,000 head inspection exemption and possession of a meat handler’s license are no longer applicable or required.
What are the requirements under NCDA&CS Food & Drug Protection Division to process rabbits?
- Annual inspections verifying compliance with Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 110) also known as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
- Compliance with Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 101) also known as Food Labeling
- Compliance with North Carolina Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act
What are the recommendations for rabbit processors?
- Complete the Rabbit HACCP course offered by NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division personnel (if not offered prior to inspection, attendance requested after production begins)
How can I sell my product to a restaurant?
- Restaurants are subject to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Environmental Health Services regulation
- If your product originates from a NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division inspected facility and operation, you are currently considered an “approved source” able to sell to restaurants
Where can I get help in marketing my product?
The NCDA&CS Marketing Division can provide marketing assistance. For more information, visit the Marketing Division website at www.ncagr.gov/markets/agbizmarketing.htm. The Marketing Division can help home processors build a web presence for their business through the NCDA&CS General Store, a directory of North Carolina agricultural goods and services.
This handout provides useful information to individuals interested in processing and selling rabbit meat.
General questions about rabbit processing can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not use e-mail or for more specific inquiries, contact a member of the Food and Drug Protection Division Compliance staff at (984) 236-4820.