USDA Catfish Inspection

The USDA inspects catfish and requires both U.S. farmers and countries exporting catfish and catfish-like products to the U.S. to meet certain safety standards.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final rule in March 2016 to establish an inspection program for U.S. farm-raised catfish and catfish-like imports.


Catfish Inspection – USDA

The new rule gives authority from the FDA to the USDA on all fish in the order of Siluriformes (catfishes are ray-finned fishes in order Siluriformes).

Food Safety TrainingFood Safety Training - SALE 10% OFF
  • Learn about foodborne pathogens, cross contamination, cold and hot food safety, and best practices to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Food Manager ANSI Certification: $99.00 - Valid in all States
  • Food Handler Training: Only $7.00!
  • 10% OFF: Enter Promo Code "train10off" at Checkout

The rule will require both U.S. farmers and countries exporting catfish and catfish-like products to the U.S. to meet safety standards set by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation’s supply of meat, poultry and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled, and packaged.


The Catfish Farmers of America (CFA), a trade association representing America’s catfish farmers, applauded the decision and will work with the USDA on implementing the new program while also reviewing the lengthy, detailed new rule.

National Catfish Month

August is designated as National Catfish Month. The majority of U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is produced on family-owned farms in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas, where many of these growers are second- or third-generation catfish farmers.

Since the farms and processing plants exist in primarily rural areas, catfish farming provides a significant source of revenue and employment in historically depressed regions of our nation.