Deer hunters may see a change on the packaged meat if a bill is passed



(The Center Square) – A state legislator says a constituent was passionate about making a change for meat processing facilities and now a measure will likely pass as a result.

State Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Dieterich, said existing meat processing plants have to put labels on processed meat that says “not for sale” and “not inspected.”

“You have to have ‘not for sale’ and ‘not inspected’ on meat that won’t be for sale or inspected, but this bill cleans this up a bit and removes the [required label] ‘not inspected’ and just has the ‘not for sale’ [label]. It cuts down on some government redundancy and saves local meat packer money,” told The Center Square.

Niemerg worked with the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Department of Agriculture for about two years to get this “minor change” done found in House Bill 2601. He said this labeling change allows smaller meat processing plants to be in line with the other larger ones.

“Depending on the size of your plant and what you’re doing there are four different types of plants in Illinois,” said Niemerg. “This [bill] just gets all of them in line when it comes to the ‘not for sale,’ ‘not inspected’ labels. A majority of them [the meat processing plants] have the, ‘not for sale’ labels already, but these smaller plants have to have ‘not for sale’ [and] ‘not inspected’ labels and it’s a redundancy. The bill removes the ‘not inspected’ labels. They [customers] know it’s not for sale and know it’s not inspected.”

So if deer hunters go to get their meat processed they’ll see just one label instead of two, if the measure is enacted.

“They have to buy rolls of 10,000 [labels], so whatever that 10,000-label roll would cost [they’d save that money]. Typically the roll sits on the side, they [the smaller meat processing plants] aren’t in line with the other types of plants. Their initiative was to save money but moreover cut back on the redundancy,” said Niemerg.

Hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 76,232 deer during the seven-day 2023 Illinois firearm deer season that concluded Dec. 3.

“This was a constituent-based initiative. It saves meat processing plants on their packaging material and gets them in line with other types of plants in the state of Illinois,” said Niemerg.

The bill specifically references Type 1 plants. The bill says that the director of Agriculture may exempt from inspection animals slaughtered or any meat or meat food products prepared on a custom basis at a Type I plant.

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