Meat Inspection Section

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Who We Are

Under the leadership of the Food Safety Branch, the Meat Inspection Section (MIS) is responsible for regulating 115 red meat and poultry abattoirs, 85 mobile butchers and 33 mobile butcher facilities in Alberta. The MIS is divided into four regions; Vermilion, Edmonton, Airdrie and Lethbridge. MIS inspectors are dedicated to the safety and security of meat processed in provincially licensed abattoirs. These inspectors work directly with facility operators to ensure that:
  • all meat bearing the provincial inspection legend is fit for human consumption,
  • facilities comply with food safety regulations, and
  • animal slaughter is humane.

    Organizational Chart
What We Do

The Alberta meat inspection system is very similar to the federal approach. All animals are inspected for health before slaughter (usually just before, but at least within 24 hours). Unhealthy (or even slightly abnormal) animals are identified and depending on the issue either segregated for separate slaughter and special inspection, or not allowed to enter the human food chain. To make these decisions, inspectors draw on their understanding of meat inspection techniques, food safety risks, good manufacturing practices, and applicable legislative requirements.

Humane slaughter is conducted by ensuring that animals are treated respectfully, and are stunned properly prior to slaughter to ensure that they experience no pain or distress.

Every carcass is subject to a thorough post-mortem examination, which includes a thorough examination of the carcass, head, and internal organs (including the lymphatic system). Carcasses, or portions thereof, are condemned if they are deemed unfit for human consumption because of disease or contamination. Meat inspectors can consult the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian if they require veterinary advice or if there is any doubt whether a carcass is to be approved for human consumption or condemned. If necessary, a carcass is held pending consultation or laboratory analysis of a selected specimen(s). Condemned carcasses are disposed of in accordance with the Disposal of Dead Animals Regulation.

Meat inspectors also collect samples for various provincial and federal surveillance programs and food safety projects such as Brucellosis testing, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing, Scrapie surveillance, and Echinococcus granulosus.

The MIB partners with the Safe Food Section to provide meat facilities with educational resources, technical expertise, and funding to support food safety initiatives. This partnership supports the continuous improvement of a food safety culture within provincially licensed abattoirs.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Becky Best.
This document is maintained by Amrit Matharu.
This information published to the web on April 19, 2013.
Last Reviewed/Revised on April 19, 2016.