You are probably used to walking into a supermarket and purchasing the meat you need for a special occasion or your weekly shop. It is even possible you look at the country of origin as you may be keen to shop locally. However, you probably do not spend much time thinking about the quality or any health risks which may be associated with the meat. This is because there are strict standards which must be applied to any meat which forms part of the food chain. These standards apply right across the food supply lines, from the farmer, to wholesaler to the retail outlet. Should you decide to purchase items from a wholesale meat supplier they will have to adhere to these same standards. Buying meat from a wholesale supplier is as safe as buying it from any retail outlet.
This does not mean that there are not unscrupulous traders; it is your responsibility to confirm that your chosen supplier is properly registered and regulated. Suppliers such as soloways.ca will have their registration number listed on their website. If you are in any doubt as to its authenticity it can be easily checked on the US department of Agriculture website. In fact, if you locate a business which is not registered you should report it to this department.
There are a number of regulations which must be complied with when preparing meat for consumption; these have been tightened considerable and more frequent checks are carried out since the horse meat issue.
Any animal which is to be slaughtered for consumption must be inspected in a department of agriculture approved premise which will inspect the animal before and after death. At this point certificates and documents will be created and the meat is allowed to be transferred back to the owner and sold through the supply chain. Whilst this may seem a simple process, the checks and inspections performed by the regulators are thorough; nobody wants a health scare associated with the food supply!
Meat which is produced outside of the country it is being sold in will need to be processed through a facility which offers the same standard of inspection as a USDA facility. If it does not reach this standard the meat can only arrive in the country illegally.
The rules around looking after your own livestock and even killing it for consumption are a little more complicated. Providing you have only a few animals it is acceptable. However, you need to be careful when choosing the method of killing and preparing the animal; a licensed butcher may be able to do the task but may not be legally permitted to. If you start to supply this meat to other people then you will need to comply with the same regulations as any wholesale meat supplier.
A properly licensed and regulated wholesale meat supplier; such as the one listed above, will be as safe to purchase meat from as any other regulated outlet. Should you choose to purchase you meat somewhere else then you need to ensure all regulations have been complied with, if not you are risking your health and should report the seller.