HARFORD, Conn. – The poultry industry in Connecticut got a boost after state legislators passed a bill that enables poultry producers to bring their products to viable markets. A mobile-processing unit is in the works for additional support to processors.

Dressed-poultry products are not considered to be from "an approved source" because there are no state or federal inspected poultry processing plants in Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Poultry Association (CPA). House Bill 5419 now gives state certification to existing on-farm processors, which allows Connecticut poultry producers to sell their products to foodservice establishments and other market segments as part of the Connecticut Small Poultry Processing Inspection Program.

Under the program, participants are required to:

• Comply with the applicable sections of the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), and they must also register their facility with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

• Develop an approved plan for liquid waste disposal and for the disposal of offal. Processors also are required to have an approved water supply and test the water supply every six months, or, if operated seasonally, test no more than 30 days before the date processing starts. Additionally, processors must have an approved site bio-security protocol and have a written system of product labeling and record keeping facilitating product tracking and traceback to the facility.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture will inspect each poultry slaughter facility participating in the program at least once a year. Program participants in will receive a certificate of inspection and a registration number that will appear on their labels.

Grants from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and USDA’s Farm Service Agency will be used toward construction of a mobile poultry slaughter unit. While the mobile unit is being designed, the CPA will select two sites with water and electric hookups, one in the eastern side of the state and one in the western half of the state, to accommodate the unit.