Kevin’s Place in Beulah is the newest North Dakota company operating under the State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program.
“Kevin’s Place has met all requirements for the meat inspection program," says Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “This will allow for more opportunities for his business.”
Owner Kevin Sasse has been making his family’s fleischkuechle recipe for years. It’s a deep-fried dumpling flavored with seasoned ground beef. He obtained a retail and catering license, and decided to go through the process to become an inspected plant. He scaled up production and plans to sell wholesale to bars, restaurants and grocery stores in the area.
Meat processing plants accredited by the state inspection program can sell their products wholesale to other retail establishments. Meat and poultry products that have been processed under state inspection can be sold on a wholesale or retail basis anywhere in North Dakota. After operating as an official state establishment for at least three months, plants are eligible to apply for the Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program, which allows them to ship anywhere in the United States.
State Meat Inspection Director Andrea Grondahl and other meat inspection staff from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture helped Sasse meet the requirements, including a written Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs).
HACCP is a science-based approach to manufacturing food products. The goal behind the HACCP program is to identify the crucial steps in the manufacturing process where a danger of microbiological, physical or chemical contamination could exist. SSOPs outline the procedures for maintaining overall plant sanitation, including daily cleaning, regularly scheduled maintenance, food handling practices and employee hygiene.
Thirteen North Dakota companies now operate under the State Meat and Poultry Inspection Program. NDDA also inspects 74 custom exempt facilities, which process private game and livestock.