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CDFA Animal Health and Food Safety Services Division

Meat, Poultry & Egg Safety Branch and their logo

Rendering Program


Rendering
Rendering is the process of converting recently deceased livestock and other inedible materials, such as inedible kitchen grease (IKG) into useful byproducts such as feed protein. Rendering converts low value material into stable useable materials. Most of this material comes from slaughterhouses (packinghouse waste), food processing facilities and restaurants (in the form of Inedible Kitchen Grease (IKG) commonly called Used Cooking Oil (UKO)). Safe rendered products are used in the manufacturing of many products from pet foods to cosmetics and other everyday products. Meat, Poultry and Egg Safety Branch (MPES) licenses and inspects rendering facilities throughout the state for compliance with regulations to ensures that that the associated inedible products are handled in a safe manner, protecting human health, animal health, the environment as that this material is not allowed to enter the human food supply.

Inedible Kitchen Grease
Since the mid 1990's IKG has grown to become a valuable commodity in California commerce. Once IKG is processed through licensed renderers, it is used in a wide array of consumer products. IKG is transformed into a bulk commodity called yellow grease and is then sold to the agricultural, bio-fuel, and commercial industries. The agricultural industry utilizes it in feed for the livestock, poultry and pet food industry; the bio-fuel industry in bio-diesel and other fuel components reducing California's dependence on the petroleum industry; and the commercial industry manufactures the refined product into soaps, cosmetics, shampoos, and other products.

MPES has the responsibility for regulating IKG collection, transport and rendering in California. The Inedible Kitchen Grease Program (IKGP) was established in 1995 due to the large amount of IKG thefts starting in the early '90s. The IKGP mission is to stop the theft of IKG and related damage to IKG containers and the environment through investigations and cooperation with local law enforcement.

Rendering Enforcement Program
The branch encourages the reporting of violations, theft, suspicious activities or unlicensed operations through our Rendering Enforcement Website.

Rendering Industry Advisory Board
The Rendering Industry Advisory Board advises the Secretary on all matters related to the rendering industry. The Board advises on such topics as: adoption of regulations and procedures, rate and collection of license fees and penalties, as well as budgeting for the program. The Board consists of 7 positions, 6 positions are “industry” positions, those who are licensed by the Meat, Poultry and Egg Safety Branch, Rendering Enforcement Program, and one position is a “public” member. Board positions are three-year terms. These requirements are set forth the in the Food and Agricultural Code (§19218). Vacancies and application requirements are posted on the “Public Meetings“ portion of the CDFA website as well as on the Rendering Industry Advisory Board page.