The Food Safety Division enforces federal and state laws and rules relating to the production of food and food products that are derived from animals. Inspectors ensure the citizens of Oklahoma that the food supply derived from meat, poultry, eggs and milk is safe and labeled correctly. Organic standards are also enforced by this division through inspection and certification. This division also works with the Food and Drug Administration to administer the Food Safety Modernization Act that addresses produce safety.
The Dairy Services section has two objectives with common goals of consumer protection and quality assurance:
- On the farm – Staff observe all aspects of the operation including construction and maintenance of the milking barn, in addition to making sure only healthy cows are milked with clean and sanitary equipment. Staff also ensure the milk is maintained at the farm and transported to the processing plants at the proper temperature (below 45F) in clean and sanitary transportation trucks.
- At the processing plant – Routine sanitation inspections and public health checks are performed on pasteurization equipment. Pasteurization is the process that assures all disease-causing organisms are destroyed. All equipment utilized in the plants are inspected for cleanliness and sanitization.
Samples of milk from dairy farms and sample of each product packaged by the processing plants (yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc.) are collected at least four out of each six months. The samples are then analyzed to determine if the milk or packaged dairy products meet the required federal safety standards.
This section of the Food Safety Division ensures consumers receive safe, wholesome, properly labeled meat and poultry products.
- Inspection – Inspectors provide inspection services to meat and poultry harvesters and processors throughout the state. These services are provided through an “At Least Equal To” cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). Daily, onsite inspections occur at all inspected establishments when inspected product is being produced.
- Compliance – Staff performs duties related to prevention, detection and resolution of violations at meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities. Complaints are investigated and unapproved operations and products are located by compliance officers who use a broad range of control mechanisms and sanctions such as detentions, stop-sale orders, letters of warning, administrative procedures and court actions to encourage compliance. In addition, officers investigate accidents involving live cattle, bison, swine, goats, sheep, poultry and rabbits, or products derived from each of these species, to prevent adulterated meat products or meat from animals that died by means other than slaughter from being diverted into human food channels.
- Food Safety Rules – TITLE 35. CHAPTER 37. Subchapter 3 Meat Inspection
- Food Safety Rules – TITLE 35. CHAPTER 37. Subchapter 5 Poultry Inspection
- Food Safety Rules – Title 35. Chapter 37. Subchapter 9 Rabbit Inspection
- Food Safety Rules – TITLE 35. CHAPTER 37. Subchapter 11 Exotic Species Inspection
- Construction Standards
- Application for Label Approval
- Amendment Application for Meat Inspection Program Services
- Application for Meat Inspection Program Services
- Application to Register Farm Slaughter Trucks
- Application to Do Business In Pickup, Removal Transport Storage
- Certificate of Registration for Distributors, Meat Brokers, Warehousemen
- Certificate of Registration for Farm Poultry Slaughter Operations
- Pickup, Removal Transport Storage List of Businesses
- Distributors, Meat Brokers Warehousemen List
- Registered Farm Slaughter Trucks list
This section provides organic certification for crops, livestock and processing facilities using United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program standards as required by the Oklahoma Organic Law. Retail, wholesale and farmers market surveillance inspections and sampling are conducted to ensure organic standards are met.
Information and procedures
- Organic Certification Fee Sheet
- Organic Certification Information Fact Sheet
- Organic Certification Procedure Processor
- Organic Certification Procedures Livestock
- Organic Certification Procedures Crop Producers
- Certified Organic Crops, Livestock & Processor / Handlers Brochure
- Organic Crop Application (Nuts, Small Grains, Vegetables, Herbs, & Fruits)
- Organic Livestock Application (Beef, Goats, Swine, Sheep, Buffalo, Deer, Elk, & Dairy)
- Organic Livestock Application (Poultry: Broilers & Eggs)
- Organic Processor/Handler Application (All types)
- Organic Processor/Handler Re-Certification Short Form
ODAFF has a Federal Trust Cooperative Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture to conduct poultry and egg grading. This section provides uniform and cost effective inspection and certification of poultry, eggs and egg products to ensure customer satisfaction and safety at all levels of production including processing, wholesale, retail and food service. Duties include performing shell egg and egg product inspection at retailers, dealers and packers, performing poultry and poultry parts and products inspection, providing shell egg surveillance inspections at producers and hatcheries.
- Egg Packers & Processors Application for License
- Shell Egg Processed Egg Dealer License New Renewal or Cancellation
The Poultry and Egg Grading programs are cooperative agreements between ODAFF and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). ODAFF Graders provide a federal grading service inside egg and poultry processing facilities.
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) created the Produce Safety Rule, which is the first federal regulations for on-farm food safety for produce farms. ODAFF has a grant from the FDA to do the education, outreach and inspection for produce farmers in Oklahoma. Sign up for the Produce Safety Newsletter HERE.
What does the FDA define as Produce?
Produce is defined as any fruit or vegetable (including mixes of intact fruits and vegetables) and includes mushrooms, sprouts (irrespective of seed source), peanuts, tree nuts, and herbs. The definition of a vegetable includes the harvested part of any plant or fungus whose fruit, fleshy fruiting bodies, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, leaves, or flower parts are used as food.
Produce does not include food grains meaning the small, hard fruits or seeds of arable crops that are primarily grown and processed for use as meal, flour, baked goods, cereals and oils. Examples of food grains include barley, dent- or flint-corn, sorghum, oats, rice, rye, wheat, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and oilseeds (e.g., cotton seed, flax seed, rapeseed, soybean, and sunflower seed).
How do I know if I am covered/exempt from the law?
Any farm that sells a 3-year average of less than $25,000 per year in produce is exempt from this law. If you sell more than that, then you are required to annually register with ODAFF which can be done by completing this online form. After you complete the form, we will determine if you are eligible for any other exemptions and inform you by e-mail how you may be able to be exempt and how to claim that exemption.
Most produce farms in Oklahoma are eligible for either the Rarely Consumed Raw exemption or the Qualified Exemption.
The Rarely Consumed Raw Exemption is for the following produce commodities: asparagus; black beans; great northern beans; kidney beans; lima beans; navy beans; pinto beans; garden beets (roots and tops); sugar beets; cashews; sour cherries; chickpeas; cocoa beans; coffee beans; collards; sweet corn; cranberries; dates; dill; eggplants; figs; ginger; hazelnuts; horseradish; lentils; okra; peanuts; pecans; peppermint; potatoes; pumpkins; winter squash; sweet potatoes; and water chestnuts.
The Qualified Exemption is for farms that sell a 3-year average of less than $500,000 a year of all foods, and at least 50% or more of that food is sold directly to the consumer or a restaurant or retail store within the state of Oklahoma or within 275 miles of your farm. If you are Qualified Exempt, you will need to have records to prove your exemption. We have created a Microsoft Excel template to help you determine if you are Qualified Exempt and help you to create an acceptable record that is required by this law to prove this exemption.
Farms that are not exempt or do not wish to claim an exemption will be inspected about once a year. The inspections will be scheduled with you so that it is not a surprise, and we are able to work with you to help you prepare for an inspection. Please check out the “Produce Safety Learning Opportunities” information listed below.
Produce Safety Learning Opportunities
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course
We are working with the experts at the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center at Oklahoma State University to teach the Produce Safety Alliance curriculum for growers across the state. To get notified of future classes, sign up for our e-mail newsletter using this link.
Oklahoma Produce Farm Food Safety Review
Any produce farm in Oklahoma can take advantage of this free on-farm food safety review program. In an On-Farm Readiness Review, experts from OSU Extension and from ODAFF will visit your farm at your request to help you identify what you may be able to do to improve produce safety on your farm and reduce risk of foodborne illnesses. To request a review, please fill out this online form.
Developing a Food Safety Plan and other Assistance
Our partners at the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center at Oklahoma State University are able to help with developing food safety plans for your farm and answer questions you may have about improving food safety on your farm. They also help farms to prepare for an inspection or figure out how to correct problems found in an inspection/third party audit.
- Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center Produce Safety
- Produce Safety Alliance
- Sprout Safety Alliance
- FDA Produce Safety Rule
- Developing a Food Safety Plan for your Fresh Produce Operation
- Fresh Produce Production Food Safety Plan Logs and Worksheets
- Grapes and the FDA Produce Safety Rule Overview
- Produce Safety Guide
This program is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award U2FFD007438 totaling $406,500 with 100 percent funded by FDA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by FDA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.
As of November 1, 2021, Oklahomans will be able to sell homemade food products that do not contain any meat, poultry, seafood, meat by-products, unpasteurized milk, cannabis, marijuana, or is an alcoholic beverage. The allowable earnings for a home food business is $75,000 each year in sales.
If you have a complaint to make on a business or product made under the Homemade Food Freedom Act, complete this online form: https://forms.office.com/g/atPnD7eQ4Q
NON-TIME-OR-TEMPERATURE-CONTROLLED-FOR-SAFETY HOMEMADE FOOD PRODUCTS
These are foods that do not require time or temperature control to limit the growth of harmful microorganisms or toxins. These foods will have a pH level of 4.6 or less or a water activity (aw) value of 0.85 or less. It is recommended that you have a sample of your food tested at a laboratory to determine if it meets these criteria.
This category of food is allowed to be sold directly or through a third-party vendor, including the internet, telephone, farmers markets, retail stores, buying clubs, and craft or flea markets. They can be delivered to the consumer either directly or through a third-party vendor or delivery service.
TIME-OR-TEMPERATURE-CONTROLLED-FOR-SAFETY HOMEMADE FOOD PRODUCTS
These are foods that do require time or temperature control to limit the growth of harmful microorganisms or toxins. These foods will have a pH level higher than 4.6 or a water activity (aw) value higher than 0.85.
This category of food is allowed to be sold directly to the consumer or through the internet or telephone. They must be delivered directly to the consumer. Third-party sales or delivery is not allowed for these foods.
Before you sell any of these foods, you must complete one of the following approved food safety trainings.
LIST OF APPROVED FOOD SAFETY TRAININGS
4. OSU Homemade Food Freedom Act Workshops in 2023:
All foods made under this act must be labeled in the following ways:
- On a label affixed to the package if the homemade food product is packaged;
- On a label affixed to a container, if the homemade food product is offered for sale from a bulk container directly to the consumer;
- On a placard displayed at the point of sale, and on a card or other item that is made available to the consumer and is readily carriable if the homemade food product is not packaged; and
- Displayed on the webpage from which the homemade food product is offered for sale if it is sold on the Internet, provided that each item sold over the Internet shall be properly labeled or shall have a label included in the shipping container.
The labels must contain all of the following information in a minimum of a 10-point size font:
- the name and phone number of the producer,
- the physical address where the product was produced,
- a description of the homemade food product,
- the ingredients of the homemade food product in descending order of proportion,
- a statement indicating the presence of any of the most common allergens, including milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (list the type of nut being used: e.g. pecan, almond, walnut, coconut, etc.), soybeans, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish, and sesame; and
- legible print stating, “This product was produced in a private residence that is exempt from government licensing and inspection.”
If selling food through a third-party vendor, a placard must be visible where the homemade food products are displayed with the following disclosure:
“This product was produced in a private residence that is exempt from government licensing and inspection. This product may contain allergens.”
For More Information
USDA NONDISCRIMINATION STATEMENT
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.
To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 3) email: email@example.com
EEO/CIVIL RIGHTS PUBLIC NOTIFICATION
ODAFF and USDA prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation and marital or family status in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the two Departments. To file a complaint of discrimination, write or call: Food Safety Division 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105. Phone 405.522.6114 (voice) or USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 800.795.3272 (voice) or 202.720.6382 (TDD).
Persons with disabilities who require accommodations or alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audio tape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact Human Resources at 405.522.5771 or HR@odaff-staging.kochcomm.dev.
Food Safety Phone; (405) 522-6119
Food Safety Fax; (405) 522-1060
- Scott Yates; Director, (405) 522-6119
- Tammy Endsley; Food Safety Administrative Programs Officer, (405) 522-6112
- Janae Banton; Food Safety Administrative Assistant, (405) 522-6119
Fax: (405) 522-1060
- Pete Echelle; Dairy Inspection Program Administrator, (405) 522-6130
Poultry, Organic, Produce, and Egg Section
- Bryan Buchwald; Poultry, Egg, Produce and Organic Program Administrator, (405) 522-5924
- Jeff Stearns; Organic Program Coordinator, (405) 522-5898
- Justin McConaghy; Produce Program Coordinator – Homemade Food Freedom Act, (405) 522-3928
Meat & Poultry Inspection Section
Fax: (405) 522-1060