Collapse to view only § 354.120 - Manner of handling products in an official plant.

General

§ 354.1 - Definitions.

Unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the following meaning:

(a) Act means the applicable provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (60 Stat. 1087; 7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.) or any other act of Congress conferring like authority.

(b) Acceptable means suitable for the purpose intended and acceptable to the Service.

(c) Administrator means the Administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the Department or any other officer or employee of the Department to whom there has heretofore been delegated, or to whom there may hereafter be delegated the authority to act in his stead.

(d) Applicant means any interested party who requests any inspection service.

(e) Area supervisor means any employee of the Department in charge of rabbit inspection service in a designated geographical area.

(f) Carcass means any rabbit carcass.

(g) Circuit supervisor or technical supervisor means the officer in charge of the rabbit inspection service in a circuit consisting of a group of stations within an area.

(h) Class means any subdivision of a product based on essential physical characteristics that differentiate between major groups of the same kind.

(i) Condition means any condition, including, but not being limited to, the state of preservation, cleanliness, or soundness, of any product or the processing, handling, or packaging which may affect such product.

(j) Condition and wholesomeness means the condition of any product, its healthfulness and fitness for human food.

(k) Department means the United States Department of Agriculture.

(l) Edible product means any product derived from ready-to-cook domestic rabbits.

(m) Giblets means the liver from which the bile sac has been removed and the heart from which the pericardial sac has been removed.

(n) Holiday or legal holiday shall mean the legal public holidays specified by the Congress in paragraph (a) of section 6103, Title 5, of the United States Code.

(o) Identify means to apply official identification to products or to containers thereof.

(p) Inspected and certified or certified means, with respect to any product, that it has undergone an inspection and was found, at the time of such inspection, to be sound, wholesome, and fit for human food.

(q) Inspection, inspection service, or inspection of products for condition and wholesomeness means any inspection by an inspector to determine, in accordance with the regulations in this part, (1) the condition and wholesomeness of rabbits, or (2) the condition and wholesomeness of any edible product at any state of the preparation or packaging thereof in the official plant where inspected and certified, or (3) the condition and wholesomeness of any previously inspected and certified product if such product has not lost its identity as an inspected and certified product.

(r) Inspection certificate means a statement, either written or printed, issued by an inspector, pursuant to the regulations in this part, relative to the condition and wholesomeness of products.

(s) Inspector means any person who is licensed by the Secretary to investigate and certify, in accordance with the regulations in this part, the condition and wholesomeness of products. An inspector is an employee of the Department or of a State; he may be a graduate veterinarian or a layman.

(t) Interested party means any person financially interested in a transaction involving any inspection.

(u) National supervisor means (1) the officer in charge of the rabbit inspection service of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, and (2) other officers or employees of the Department designated by the officer in charge of the rabbit inspection service of the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

(v) Official plant means one or more buildings or parts thereof, comprising a single plant in which the facilities and methods of operation therein have been approved by the Administrator as suitable and adequate for operation under inspection service and in which inspection is carried on in accordance with the regulations in this part.

(w) Person means any individual, partnership, association, business trust, corporation, or any organized group of persons, whether incorporated or not.

(x) Potable water means water that has been approved by the State health authority as safe for drinking and suitable for food processing.

(y) Product means ready-to-cook cooked rabbits, or edible products derived therefrom.

(z) Rabbit means any domesticated rabbit, whether live or dead.

(aa) Rabbit inspection service means the personnel who are engaged in the administration, application, and direction of rabbit inspection programs and services pursuant to the regulations in this part.

(bb) Ready-to-cook domestic rabbit means any rabbit which has been slaughtered for human food, from which the head, blood, skin, feet, and inedible viscera have been removed, that is ready to cook without need of further processing. Ready-to-cook rabbit also means any cut-up or disjointed portion of rabbit or any edible part thereof, as described in this paragraph.

(cc) Regulations means the provisions of this entire part as may be in effect at the time inspection is performed.

(dd) Secretary means the Secretary of the Department, or any other officer or employee of the Department to whom there has heretofore been delegated, or to whom there may hereafter be delegated, the authority to act in his stead.

(ee) Service means the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the Department.

(ff) Station supervisor means any authorized individual who is designated to supervise rabbit inspection service in a large official plant or in a group of several small plants.

§ 354.2 - Designation of official certificates, memoranda, marks, other identifications, and devices for purposes of the Agricultural Marketing Act.

Subsection 203(h) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended by Pub. L. 272, 84th Congress, provides criminal penalties for various specified offenses relating to official certificates, memoranda, marks or other identifications, and devices for making such marks or identifications, issued or authorized under section 203 of said Act, and certain misrepresentations concerning the inspection of agricultural products under said section. For the purposes of said subsection and the provisions in this part, the terms listed in this section shall have the respective meanings specified:

(a) Official certificate means any form of certification, either written or printed, used under this part to certify with respect to the inspection or class or condition of products.

(b) Official memorandum means any initial record of findings made by an authorized person in the process of inspecting or sampling, pursuant to this part, any processing or plant operation report made by an authorized person in connection with inspecting or sampling under this part, and any report made by an authorized person of services performed pursuant to this part.

(c) Official mark means the inspection mark, and any other mark, or any variations in such marks, approved by the Administrator and authorized to be affixed to any product, or affixed to or printed on the packaging material of any product, stating that the product was inspected, or indicating the condition of the product, or for the purpose of maintaining the identity of products inspected under this part, including, but not limited to, that set forth in § 354.65.

(d) Official identification means any symbol, stamp, label, or seal indicating that the product has been officially inspected and/or indicating the class or condition of the product approved by the Administrator and authorized to be affixed to any product, or affixed to or printed on the packaging material of any product.

(e) Official device means a stamping appliance, branding device, stencil, printed label, or any other mechanically or manually operated tool that is approved by the Administrator for the purpose of applying any official mark or other identification to any product or the packaging material thereof.

Administration

§ 354.3 - Administration.

The Administrator shall perform, for and under the supervision of the Secretary, such duties as are prescribed in the regulations in this part and as the Secretary may require in the administration of the regulations in this part. The Administrator is authorized to waive for limited periods any particular provisions of the regulations to permit experimentation so that new procedures, equipment, and processing techniques may be tested to facilitate definite improvements and, at the same time, to assure full compliance with the spirit and intent of the regulations. The Food Safety and Inspection Service and its officers and employees shall not be liable in damages through acts of commission or omission in the administration of this part.

Basis of Service

§ 354.10 - Inspection service.

Any inspection service in accordance with the regulations in this part shall be for condition and wholesomeness.

§ 354.12 - Eligibility.

(a) Only rabbits which are processed in official plants in accordance with the regulations in this part may be inspected.

(b) All rabbits that are eviscerated in an official plant where inspection service is maintained shall be inspected for condition and wholesomeness and no dressed rabbits or uninspected products shall be brought into such official plant.

§ 354.13 - Supervision.

All inspection service shall be subject to supervision at all times by the station supervisor, circuit supervisor, area supervisor, and national supervisor. Such service shall be rendered where the facilities and conditions are satisfactory for the conduct of the service and the requisite inspectors are available.

§ 354.14 - Authority to waive provisions of § 354.12.

The Administrator is authorized to waive the provisions of § 354.12 which pertain to the entry of uninspected edible products into official plants in specific instances where rabbits are to be brought into compliance with a law under the provisions of a court order. Such rabbits shall be handled in an official plant in accordance with such procedures as the Administrator may prescribe to insure proper segregation and identity of the rabbits or rabbit products until they are shipped from the official plant.

Performance of Services

§ 354.20 - Licensed or authorized inspectors.

(a) Any person who is a Federal or State employee or the employee of a local jurisdiction possessing proper qualifications as determined by an examination for competency, and who is to perform inspection service under this part may be licensed or otherwise authorized by the Secretary as an inspector.

(b) All licenses issued by the Secretary shall be countersigned by the officer in charge of the rabbit inspection service of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or any other designated officer of such Service.

§ 354.21 - Suspension of license; revocation.

Pending final action by the Secretary, any person authorized to countersign a license to perform inspection service may, whenever he deems such action necessary to assure that any inspection service is properly performed, suspend any license to perform inspection service issued pursuant to this part, by giving notice of such suspension to the respective licensee, accompanied by a statement of the reasons therefor. Within 7 days after the receipt of the aforesaid notice and statement of reasons, the licensee may file an appeal in writing, with the Secretary, supported by any argument or evidence that he may wish to offer as to why his license should not be further suspended or revoked. After the expiration of the aforesaid 7-day period and consideration of such argument and evidence, the Secretary will take such action as he deems appropriate with respect to such suspension or revocation. When no appeal is filed within the prescribed 7 days, the license to perform inspection service is revoked.

§ 354.22 - Surrender of license.

Each license which is suspended, or revoked, or has expired shall promptly be surrendered by the licensee to his immediate superior. Upon termination of the services of a licensed inspector, the licensee shall promptly surrender his license to his immediate superior.

§ 354.23 - Identification.

Each inspector shall have in his possession at all times, and present upon request while on duty, the means of identification furnished by the Department to such person.

§ 354.24 - Financial interest of inspectors.

No inspector shall render service on any product in which he is financially interested.

§ 354.25 - Political activity.

All inspectors are forbidden, during the period of their respective appointments or licenses, to take an active part in political management or in political campaigns. Political activity in city, county, State, or national elections, whether primary or regular, or in behalf of any party or candidate, or any measure to be voted upon, is prohibited. This applies to all appointees, including, but not being limited to, temporary and cooperative employees and employees on leave of absence with or without pay. Willful violation of §§ 354.20 to 354.25 will constitute grounds for dismissal in the case of appointees and revocation of licenses in the case of licensees.

§ 354.26 - Schedule of operation of official plants.

Inspection operating schedules for services performed pursuant to § 354.107 shall be requested in writing and be approved by the Administrator. Normal operating schedules for a full week consist of a continuous 8-hour period per day (excluding not to exceed 1 hour for lunch), 5 consecutive days per week, within the period of Monday through Saturday, for each shift required. Less than 8-hour schedules may be requested and will be approved if an inspector is available. Sundays may not be approved in any tour of duty. Clock hours of daily operations need not be specified in the request, although as a condition of continued approval, the hours of operation shall be reasonably uniform from day to day. Inspectors are to be notified by management 1 day in advance of any change in the hours inspection service is requested.

Application for Inspection Service

§ 354.30 - Who may obtain inspection service.

An application for inspection service may be made by any interested person, including, but not being limited to, the United States, any State, county, municipality, or common carrier, and any authorized agent of the foregoing.

§ 354.31 - How application for service may be made; conditions of resident service.

(a) On a fee basis. An application for any inspection service on a fee basis may be made in any office of inspection or with any inspector at or nearest the place where the service is desired. Such application may be made orally (in person or by telephone), in writing, or by telegraph. If the application for inspection service is made orally, the office of inspection or the inspector with whom the application is made, or the Administrator, may require that the application be confirmed in writing.

(b) On a resident inspection basis. An application for resident inspection service must be made in writing on forms approved by the Administrator and filed with the Administrator. Such forms may be obtained at the national, area, or State inspection office. In making application, the applicant agrees to comply with the terms and conditions of the regulations (including, but not being limited to, such instructions governing inspection of products as may be issued from time to time by the Administrator). No member of or delegate to Congress or Resident Commissioner shall be admitted to any benefit that may arise from such service unless derived through service rendered a corporation for its general benefit.

§ 354.32 - Filing of application.

An application for inspection service shall be regarded as filed only when made pursuant to the regulations in this part.

§ 354.33 - Authority of applicant.

Proof of the authority of any person applying for inspection service may be required at the discretion of the Administrator.

§ 354.34 - Application for inspection service in official plants; approval.

Any person desiring to process and pack products in a plant under inspection service must receive approval of such plant and facilities as an official plant prior to the rendition of such service. An application for inspection service to be rendered in an official plant shall be approved according to the following procedure:

(a) Initial survey. When application has been filed for inspection service as aforesaid, the area supervisor, or his assistant, shall examine the plant, premises, and facilities and shall specify any additional facilities required for the service. Appeals with respect to any such specification may be made to the national supervisor.

(b) Drawings and specifications to be furnished in advance of construction or alterations.

(1) Four copies of drawings or blueprints showing the features specified herein shall be submitted to the Administrator. The drawings or blueprints shall be legible, made with sharp, clear lines, and properly drawn to scale, and shall consist of floor plans and a plot plan.

(2) The plot plan shall show such features as the limits of the plant's premises, locations in outline of buildings on the premises, one point of the compass, and roadways and railroads serving the plant.

(3) The floor plan shall show all space to be included in the official plant. If rooms or compartments shown on the drawings or blueprints are not to be included as part of the official plant, this shall be clearly indicated thereon.

(4) The sheets of paper on which drawings or blueprints are made shall not exceed a size 34″ × 44″. The drawings other than of the plot plan shall be made to a scale of 1/8″ per foot, except that additional plans for some areas showing detail may be drawn to a scale of 1/4″ per foot. The plot plan may be drawn to a scale of not less than 1/32″ per foot. The drawings shall indicate the scale used and shall also indicate the floor shown (e.g., basement, first, or second).

(c) Features required to be shown on floor plan. The following features shall be shown on the floor plan:

(1) The principal pieces of equipment drawn to scale in the proper locations.

(2) The name of the firm and the address of the plant by street and street number, or by other means properly identifying the location of the plant.

(3) One point of the compass.

(4) The doors and openings for passageways, designating those which are self-closing or permanently closed.

(5) All floor drain openings and gutter drains.

(6) Lavatories in toilet and processing rooms (lavatories which are other than hand-operated shall be so designated on the drawings or blueprints).

(7) All steam and hot and cold water outlets for cleanup purposes.

(8) Ice-making and storage facilities.

(9) The point at which live rabbits are hung on the conveyor line, the point at which the ready-to-cook rabbits are removed, and any intermediate transfer points.

(10) The routes of the edible and inedible products.

(11) The location of fresh air inlets, exhaust fans, and hoods.

(d) Specifications. Specifications covering the following items shall accompany the drawings:

(1) Height of ceilings.

(2) Type of ceilings - open or closed.

(3) Finish of ceilings; for example - cement plaster, metal, marine plywood, cement, asbestos board, etc.

(4) Finish of walls; for example - cement plaster, glazed tile, glaze brick, glass blocks, etc.

(5) Screens - indicate whether all outside openings are screened or provided with other suitable devices against entrance of flies or other insects.

(6) Finish of floors - concrete, brick, mastic material, etc.

(7) Drainage - indicate the amount of slope of floors to the drains in processing rooms, coolers, toilets, and refuse rooms, and give description of trapping and venting of drainage lines and of floor drain openings. Indicate size of drainage lines and whether house drainage lines and toilet soil lines are separate to a point outside of buildings.

(8) Heating - indicate type.

(9) Water supply - indicate whether public or private water supply, or both, and specify in terms of gallons of water available per minute for the processing needs of the plant. Also indicate whether or not a nonpotable water supply is used for any purpose in the plant and, if so, specify such uses.

(10) Hot water facilities - specify facilities such as boilers, storage tanks, mixing valves, etc., and indicate the size and number of boilers and storage tanks.

(11) Specify number of men and number of women who will use each toilet room.

(12) Sewage disposal - indicate whether city sewer, cesspool, sedimentation tank, etc.

(13) Approximate rate of production - indicate hourly rate of slaughter and evisceration for rabbits.

(e) Rooms and compartments which must be included in the official plant. The official plant shall include employees' toilet and dressing rooms, office space for the inspectors, storerooms for supplies, refuse rooms, and rooms, compartments, or passageways where rabbits or any ingredients to be used in the preparation of products under inspection will be handled or kept. It also may include other rooms or compartments located in the buildings comprising the official plant.

(f) Changes in drawings or blueprints. When changes are proposed in areas for which drawings or blueprints have been previously approved, one of the following types of revised drawings or blueprints shall be submitted for review and consideration.

(1) A completely revised sheet or sheets showing proposed alterations or additions, or

(2) Approved pasters of the proposed changes which may be affixed to the affected areas on the previously approved drawings or blueprints in a manner not obscuring essential data. Paster drawings and blueprints shall be prepared to the same scale and presented on a background similar to that of the originally approved drawing or blueprint.

(g) Final survey and plant approval. Prior to the inauguration of the inspection service, a final survey of the plant and premises shall be made by the area supervisor or his assistant to determine if the plant is constructed and facilities are installed in accordance with the approved drawings and the regulations in this part. The plant may be approved by the Administrator only when these requirements have been met, except that conditional approval for a specified limited time may be granted only under emergency conditions of restricted availability of facilities and construction materials, provided practices suitable to the Administrator are employed to effect adequate sanitary conditions in the plant.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0583-0036) [41 FR 23702, June 11, 1976, as amended at 47 FR 746, Jan. 7, 1982]

§ 354.35 - Rejection of application.

Any application for inspection service may be rejected by the Administrator:

(a) Whenever the applicant fails to meet the requirements of the regulations prescribing the conditions under which the service is made available;

(b) Whenever the product is owned by or located on the premises of a person currently denied the benefits of the Act;

(c) Where any individual holding office or a responsible position with or having a substantial financial interest or share in the applicant is currently denied the benefits of the Act or was responsible in whole or in part for the current denial of the benefits of the Act to any person;

(d) Where the Administrator determines that the application is an attempt on the part of a person currently denied the benefits of the Act to obtain inspection service;

(e) Whenever the applicant, after an initial survey has been made in accordance with § 354.34(a), fails to bring the plant, facilities, and operating procedures into compliance with the regulations within a reasonable period of time; or

(f) Notwithstanding any prior approval whenever, before inauguration of service, the applicant fails to fulfill commitments concerning the inauguration of the service. Each such applicant shall be promptly notified by registered mail of the reasons for the rejection. A written petition for reconsideration of such rejection may be filed by the applicant with the Administrator if postmarked or delivered within 10 days after the receipt of notice of the rejection. Such petition shall state specifically the errors alleged to have been made by the Administrator in rejecting the application. Within 20 days following the receipt of such a petition for reconsideration, the Administrator shall approve the application or notify the applicant by registered mail of the reasons for the rejection thereof.

§ 354.36 - Withdrawal of application.

Any application for inspection service may be withdrawn by the applicant at any time before the service is performed upon payment, by the applicant, of all expenses incurred by the Service in connection with such application.

§ 354.38 - Suspension of plant approval.

(a) Any plant approval given pursuant to the regulations in this part may be suspended by the Administrator for:

(1) Failure to maintain plant and equipment in a satisfactory state of repair;

(2) The use of operating procedures which are not in accordance with the regulations in this part; or

(3) Alterations of buildings, facilities, or equipment which cannot be approved in accordance with the regulations in this part.

(b) During such period of suspension, inspection service shall not be rendered. However, the other provisions of the regulations pertaining to providing service on a resident basis will remain in effect unless such service is terminated in accordance with the provisions of this part. If the plant facilities or methods of operation are not brought into compliance within a reasonable period of time, to be specified by the Administrator, the service shall be terminated. Upon termination of inspection service in an official plant pursuant to the regulations in this part, the plant approval shall also become terminated, and all labels, seals, tags or packaging material bearing official identification shall, under the supervision of a person designated by the Service, either be destroyed, or the official identification completely obliterated, or sealed in a manner acceptable to the Service.

Violations

§ 354.45 - Denial of service.

(a) The acts or practices set forth in §§ 354.46 through 354.51 or the causing thereof may be deemed sufficient cause, for the debarment, by the Secretary, of any person, including any agents, officers, subsidiaries, or affiliates of such person, from any or all benefits of the Act for a specified period after notice and opportunity for hearing has been afforded.

(b) Whenever the Administrator has reason to believe that any person or his employee, agent, or representative has flagrantly or repeatedly committed any of the acts or practices specified in §§ 354.46 to 354.51, he may, without hearing, direct that the benefits of the Act be denied such person, including any agents, officers, subsidiaries, or affiliates of such person, pending investigation and hearing, and shall give notice thereof to any such person in the manner prescribed in § 1.147(b) of the rules of practice (7 CFR 1.147(b)). The Administrator's decision to deny the benefits of the Act to any such person, including any agents, officers, subsidiaries, or affiliates of such person, shall be effective upon service of such notice. A written petition for reconsideration of such interim denial may be filed with the Administrator by any person so denied the benefits of the Act within 10 days after notice of the interim denial. Such petition shall state specifically the errors alleged to have been made by the Administrator in denying the benefits of the Act pending investigation and hearing. Within 20 days following the receipt of such petition for reconsideration, the Administrator shall reinstate the benefits of the Act or notify the petitioner of the reasons for continued interim denial.

[41 FR 23702, June 11, 1976, as amended at 43 FR 11148, Mar. 17, 1978]

§ 354.46 - Misrepresentation; deceptive or fraudulent acts or practices.

Any willful misrepresentation or any deceptive or fraudulent act or practice made or committed by any person in connection with:

(a) The making or filing of any application for any inspection service;

(b) The making of the product accessible for inspection;

(c) The making, issuing, or using, or attempting to issue or use any inspection certificate, symbol, stamp, label, seal or identification, authorized pursuant to the regulations in this part;

(d) The use of the terms “U.S. Inspected” or “Government Inspected”, or any term of similar import in the labeling or advertising of any product.

§ 354.47 - Use of facsimile forms.

Using or attempting to use a form which simulates, in whole or in part, any certificate, symbol, stamp, label, seal or identification authorized to be issued or used under the regulations in this part.

§ 354.48 - Willful violation of the regulations.

Any willful violation of the regulations in this part or the Act.

§ 354.49 - Interfering with an inspector or employee of Service.

Any interference with or obstruction or any attempted interference or obstruction of or assault upon any inspector or employee of the Service in the performance of his duties. The giving or offering directly or indirectly of any money, loan, gift, or anything of value to an employee of the Service or the making or offering of any contribution to or in any way supplementing the salary, compensation, or expenses of an employee of the Service, or the offering or entering into a private contract or agreement with an employee of the Service for any services to be rendered while employed by the Service.

§ 354.51 - Miscellaneous.

The existence of any of the conditions set forth in § 354.35 constituting a basis for the rejection of an application for inspection service.

Other Applicable Regulations

§ 354.53 - Other applicable regulations.

Compliance with the regulations in this part shall not excuse failure to comply with any other Federal or any State or municipal applicable laws or regulations.

Identifying and Marking Products

§ 354.60 - Approval of official identification.

(a) Any label or packaging material which bears any official identification shall be used only in such manner as the Administrator may prescribe. No label or packaging material bearing official identification may be used unless finished copies or samples of such labels and packaging material have been approved by the Administrator. No label bearing official identification shall be printed for use until the printer's final proof has been approved by the Administrator, and no label, other than labels for shipping containers or containers for institutional packs, bearing any official identification shall be used until finished copies or samples of such labels have been approved by the Administrator. Final approval may be given to printer's final proof or photostatic copies of labels for shipping containers or containers for institutional packs, and no such labels shall be used until such proofs or copies have been approved by the Administrator. A label which bears official identification shall not bear any statement that is false or misleading, and if labels in the name of the same packer or distributor, or bearing the same brand name, are used on the same or similar products which are prepared from products which are not inspected, the diameter of the inspection mark used on labels for inspected products shall be equal to at least one-tenth of the length of the label, plus at least one-tenth of the width of the label. If the labeling is printed or otherwise applied directly to the container, the principal display panel of such container shall, for this purpose, be considered as the label.

§ 354.62 - Inspection mark with respect to product.

The Administrator is authorized to prescribe and approve the form of the inspection mark that may be used.

§ 354.63 - Marking inspected products.

(a) Wording and form of inspection mark. Except as otherwise authorized, the inspection mark permitted to be used with respect to inspected and certified edible products shall include wording as follows: “Inspected for Wholesomeness by U.S. Department of Agriculture.” This wording shall be contained within a circle in the form and arrangement shown in § 354.65. The appropriate plant number of the official plant shall be included in the circle unless it appears elsewhere on the packaging material. The Administrator may approve the use of abbreviations of such inspection mark, and such approved abbreviations shall have the same force and effect as the inspection mark. The inspection mark or approved abbreviation thereof, as the case may be, may be applied to the inspected and certified edible product or to the packaging material of such product. When the inspection mark, or the approved abbreviation thereof, is used on packaging material, it shall be printed on such material or on a label to be affixed to the packaging material and the name of the packer or distributor of such product shall be printed on the packaging material or label, as the case may be, except that on shipping containers and containers for institutional packs, the inspection marks may be stenciled on the container and, when the inspection mark is so stenciled, the name and address of the packer or distributor may be applied by the use of a stencil or a rubber stamp. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the name and address of the packer or distributor, if appropriately shown elsewhere on the packaging material, may be omitted from insert labels which bear an official identification if the applicable plant number is shown.

(b) Wording on labels. Each trade label to be approved for use pursuant to §§ 354.60 to 354.64 with respect to any inspected and certified edible product shall bear the true name of the edible product, the name and address of the packer or distributor thereof, and in prominent letters and figures of uniform size, the inspection mark, as aforesaid, and the label shall also bear, in such manner as may be prescribed or approved by the Administrator, the plant number, if any, of the official plant in which such product was inspected and certified. The class of the rabbits shall be shown on the label. The appropriate designation “young”, “mature”, or “old” may be used as a prefix to the word “rabbit” in lieu of the class name.

(c) Labels in foreign languages. Any trade label to be affixed to a container of any edible products for foreign commerce may be printed in a foreign language. However, the inspection mark shall appear on the label in English, but, in addition, may be literally translated into such foreign language. Each such trade label which is to be printed in a foreign language must be approved pursuant to §§ 354.60 to 354.64.

(d) Unauthorized use or disposition of approved labels. (1) Labels approved for use pursuant to §§ 354.60 to 354.64 shall be used only for the purpose for which approved and shall not otherwise be disposed of from the plant for which approved except with written approval of the Administrator. Any unauthorized use or disposition of approved labels or labels bearing official identification may result in cancellation of the approval and denial of the use of labels bearing official identification or denial of the benefits of the Act pursuant to the provisions of § 354.60.

(2) The use of simulations or imitations of any official identification by any person is prohibited.

(e) Rescindment of approved labels. Once a year, or more often if requested, each applicant shall submit to the Administrator a list in triplicate of approved labels that have become obsolete, accompanied with a statement that such approvals are no longer desired. The approvals shall be identified by the date of approval and the name of product or other designation showing the class of material.

§ 354.64 - Form of official identification.

The form prescribed in § 354.65 is subject to the requirements of §§ 354.60 to 354.64, Identifying and Marking Products.

§ 354.65 - Form of inspection mark.

The inspection mark approved for use on inspected and certified edible products shall be contained within a circle and include the following wording: “Inspected for Wholesomeness by U.S. Department of Agriculture.” The form and arrangement of such wording shall be as indicated in the example below. The plant number of the official plant shall be set forth if it does not appear on the packaging material.

Supervision of Marking and Packaging

§ 354.70 - Evidence of label approval.

No inspector shall authorize the use of official identification for any inspected product unless he has on file evidence that such official identification or packaging material bearing such official identification has been approved in accordance with the provisions of §§ 354.60 to 354.64.

§ 354.71 - Affixing of official identification.

(a) No official identification or any abbreviation, copy, or representation thereof may be affixed to or placed on or caused to be affixed to or placed on any product or container thereof except by an inspector or under the supervision of an inspector. All such products shall have been inspected and certified. The inspector shall have supervision over the use and handling of all material bearing any official identification.

(b) Each container of inspected and certified products to be shipped from one official plant to another official plant for further processing shall be marked for identification and shall show the following information:

(1) The name of the inspected and certified products in the container;

(2) The name and address of the packer or distributor of such products;

(3) The net weight of the container;

(4) The inspection mark permitted to be used pursuant to the regulations in this part unless the containers are sealed or otherwise identified in such manner as may be approved by the Administrator; and

(5) The plant number of the official plant where the products were packed.

§ 354.72 - Packaging.

No container which bears or may bear any official identification or any abbreviation or copy or representation thereof may be filled in whole or in part except with edible products which were inspected and certified and are, at the time of such filing, sound, wholesome, and fit for human food. All such filling of containers shall be under the supervision of an inspector.

§ 354.73 - Retention labels.

An inspector may use such labels, devices, and methods as may be approved by the Administrator for the identification of:

(a) Products which are held for further examination, and

(b) All equipment and utensils which are to be held for proper cleaning.

§ 354.74 - Prerequisites to inspection.

Inspection of products shall be rendered pursuant to the regulations in this part and under such conditions and in accordance with such methods as may be prescribed or approved by the Administrator.

§ 354.75 - Accessibility of products.

Each product for which inspection service is requested shall be so arranged so as to permit adequate determination of its class, quantity, and condition as the circumstances may warrant.

§ 354.76 - Time of inspection in an official plant.

The inspector who is to perform the inspection in an official plant shall be informed, in advance, by the applicant of the hours when such inspection is desired. Inspectors shall have access at all times to every part of any official plant to which they are assigned.

Reports

§ 354.90 - Report of inspection work.

Reports of the work of inspection carried on within official plants shall be forwarded to the Administrator by the inspector in such manner as may be specified by the Administrator.

§ 354.91 - Information to be furnished to inspectors.

When inspection service is performed within an official plant, the applicant for such inspection shall furnish to the inspector rendering such service such information as may be required for the purposes of §§ 354.90 to 354.92.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0583-0036) [41 FR 23702, June 11, 1976, as amended at 47 FR 746, Jan. 7, 1982]

§ 354.92 - Reports of violation.

Each inspector shall report, in the manner prescribed by the Administrator, all violations of and noncompliance with the Act and the regulations in this part of which he has knowledge.

Fees and Charges

§ 354.100 - Payment of fees and charges.

(a) Fees and charges for any inspection shall be paid by the applicant for the service in accordance with the applicable provisions of §§ 354.100 to 354.110, both inclusive. If so required by the inspector, such fees and charges shall be paid in advance.

(b) Fees and charges for any inspection service shall, unless otherwise required pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, be paid by check, draft, or money order payable to the Food Safety and Inspection Service and remitted promptly to the Service.

(c) Fees and charges for any inspection pursuant to a cooperative agreement with any State or person shall be paid in accordance with the terms of such cooperative agreement.

§ 354.101 - On a fee basis.

(a) Unless otherwise provided in this part, the fees to be charged and collected for any service performed, in accordance with this part, on a fee basis shall be based on the applicable rates specified in this section.

(b) The charges for inspection service will be based on the time required to perform such services. The hourly rates shall be as specified in §§ 391.2 and 391.3 respectively for base time and for overtime or holiday work.

(c) Charges for certain laboratory analysis or laboratory examination of rabbits under this part related to inspection service shall be at the rate specified in § 391.4 for that part which is not covered under the base time, overtime, and/or holiday costs.

[41 FR 23702, June 11, 1976, as amended at 53 FR 13398, Apr. 22, 1988; 54 FR 6390, Feb. 10, 1989]

§ 354.105 - Fees for additional copies of inspection certificates.

Additional copies, other than those provided for in §§ 354.141, 354.142, and 354.143, of any inspection certificates may be supplied to any interested party upon payment of a fee of $2.00 for each set of five or fewer copies.

§ 354.106 - Travel expenses and other charges.

Charges are to be made to cover the cost of travel and other expenses incurred by the Service in connection with rendering inspection service. Such charges shall include the costs of transportation, per diem, and any other expenses.

§ 354.107 - Continuous inspection performed on a resident basis.

The charges for inspection of rabbits and products thereof shall be those provided for in § 354.101(b) and specified by hourly rates in §§ 391.2 and 391.3 when the inspection service is performed on a continuous year-round resident basis and the services of an inspector or inspectors are required 4 or more hours per day. When the services of an inspector are required on an intermittent basis, the charges shall be those provided for in § 354.101(b) and specified by hourly rates in §§ 391.2 and 391.3 plus the travel expense and other charges provided for in § 354.106.

[54 FR 6390, Feb. 10, 1989]

§ 354.109 - Fees or charges for inspection service performed under cooperative agreement.

Fees or charges to be made to an applicant for any inspection service which differ from those listed in §§ 354.100 through 354.107 shall be provided for by a cooperative agreement.

§ 354.110 - Disposition of fees for inspection made under cooperative agreement.

Fees for inspection under a cooperative agreement with any State or person shall be disposed of in accordance with the terms of such agreement. Such portion of the fees collected under a cooperative agreement as may be due the United States shall be remitted to the Service.

Inspection Procedures; Ante-Mortem Inspections

§ 354.120 - Manner of handling products in an official plant.

Unless otherwise specified in the regulations in this part or by the Administrator, products which are to be further processed under inspection in an official plant shall be prepared and handled in such official plant under the supervision of an inspector.

§ 354.121 - Ante-mortem inspection.

An ante-mortem inspection of rabbits shall, where and to the extent considered necessary by the Administrator and under such instructions as he may issue from time to time, be made of rabbits on the day of slaughter in any official plant processing rabbits under inspection pursuant to the regulations in this part.

§ 354.122 - Condemnation on ante-mortem inspection.

Rabbits found in a dying condition on premises of an official plant shall be immediately destroyed and, together with any rabbits found dead on such premises, shall be disposed of in accordance with § 354.132. Rabbits plainly showing, on ante-mortem inspection, any disease or condition, that under §§ 354.129 to 354.131, inclusive, would cause condemnation of their carcasses on post-mortem inspection, shall be condemned. Rabbits which, on ante-mortem inspection, are condemned shall not be dressed, nor shall they be conveyed into any department of the plant where rabbit products are prepared or held. Rabbits which have been condemned on ante-mortem inspection and have been killed shall, under the supervision of an inspector of the Inspection Service, receive treatment as provided in § 354.132.

§ 354.123 - Segregation of suspects on ante-mortem inspection.

All rabbits which, on ante-mortem inspection, do not plainly show, but are suspected of being affected with any disease or condition that under §§ 354.129 to 354.131, inclusive, may cause condemnation in whole or in part on post-mortem inspection, shall be segregated from the other rabbits and held for separate slaughter, evisceration, and post-mortem inspection. The inspector shall be notified when such segregated lots are presented for post-mortem inspection and inspection of such rabbits shall be conducted separately. Such procedure for the correlation of ante-mortem and post-mortem findings by the inspector, as may be prescribed or approved by the Administrator, shall be carried out.

§ 354.124 - Quarantine of diseased rabbits.

If live rabbits, which are affected by any contagious disease which is transmissible to man, are brought into an official establishment, such rabbits shall be segregated. The slaughtering of such rabbits shall be deferred and they shall be dealt with in one of the following ways:

(a) If it is determined by a veterinary inspector that further handling of the rabbits will not create a health hazard, the lot shall be subject to ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection pursuant to the regulations in this part.

(b) If it is determined by a veterinary inspector that further handling of the rabbits will not create a health hazard, such rabbits may be released for treatment under the control of an appropriate State or Federal agency. If the circumstances are such that release for treatment is impracticable, a careful rabbit-by-rabbit ante-mortem inspection shall be made, and all rabbits found to be, or which are suspected of being, affected with the contagious disease transmissible to man shall be condemned.

Post-Mortem Inspection

§ 354.125 - Evisceration.

No viscera or any part thereof shall be removed from any rabbits which are to be processed under inspection in any official plant, except at the time of evisceration and inspection. Each carcass to be eviscerated shall be opened so as to expose the organs and the body cavity for proper examination by the inspector and shall be prepared immediately after inspection as ready-to-cook rabbit.

§ 354.126 - Carcasses held for further examination.

Each carcass, including all parts thereof, in which there is any lesion of disease or other condition, which might render such carcass or any part thereof unfit for human food, and with respect to which a final decision cannot be made on first examination by the inspector, shall be held for further examination. The identity of each such carcass, including all parts thereof, shall be maintained until a final examination has been completed.

§ 354.127 - Condemnation and treatment of carcasses.

Each carcass, or any part thereof, which is found to be unsound, unwholesome, or otherwise unfit for human food shall be condemned by the inspector and shall receive such treatment, under the supervision of the inspector, as will prevent its use for human food and preclude dissemination of disease through consumption by animals.

§ 354.128 - Certification of carcasses.

Each carcass and all parts and organs thereof which are found by the inspector to be sound, wholesome, and fit for human food shall be certified as provided in this part.

Disposition of Diseased Rabbit Carcasses and Parts

§ 354.129 - General.

The carcasses or parts of carcasses of all rabbits inspected at an official establishment and found at the time of post-mortem inspection, or at any subsequent inspection, to be affected with any of the diseases or conditions named in other sections in this part, shall be disposed of in accordance with the section pertaining to the disease or condition. Owing to the fact that it is impracticable to formulate rules for each specific disease or condition and to designate at just what stage a disease process results in an unwholesome product, the decision as to the disposal of all carcasses, parts, or organs not specifically covered by the regulations, or by instructions of the Administrator issued pursuant thereto, shall be left to the inspector in charge, and if the inspector in charge is in doubt concerning the disposition to be made, specimens from such carcasses shall be forwarded to the laboratory for diagnosis.

§ 354.130 - Diseases or conditions evident which require condemnation.

(a) Carcasses of rabbits affected with or showing lesions of any of the following named diseases or conditions shall be condemned: Tularemia, anthrax, hemorrhagic septicemia, pyemia, septicemia, leukemia, acute enteritis, peritonitis, sarcomatosis, metritis, necrobacillosis (Smorl's Disease), tuberculosis, emaciation, streptobacillary pseudotuberculosis, and advanced stages of snuffles. Rabbits from pathological laboratories shall be condemned.

(b) Any organ or part of a rabbit carcass affected with a tumor shall be condemned and when there is evidence that the general condition of the rabbit has been affected by the size, position, or nature of the tumor, the whole carcass shall be condemned. In cases of malignant neoplasms involving any internal organ to a marked extent, or affecting the muscles, skeleton, or body lymph glands, even primarily, the whole carcass shall be condemned.

(c) Carcasses of rabbits showing any disease such as generalized melanosis, pseudoleukemia, and the like, which systemically affect the rabbit, shall be condemned.

(d) Any organ or part of a carcass which is badly bruised or which is affected by an abscess, or a suppurating sore, shall be condemned. Parts or carcasses which are contaminated by pus shall be condemned.

(e) Carcasses of rabbits contaminated by volatile oils, paints, poisons, gases, or other substances which affect the wholesomeness of the carcass shall be condemned.

(f) All carcasses of rabbits so infected that consumption of the meat or meat food products thereof may give rise to meat poisoning shall be condemned. This includes all carcasses showing signs of any of the following diseases: Acute inflammation of the lungs, pleura, pericardium, peritoneum or meninges; septicemia or pyemia, whether traumatic, or without evident cause; gangrenous or severe hemorrhagic enteritis or gastritis; polyarthritis and acute nephritis. Immediately after the slaughter of any rabbit so infected, the infected premises and implements used shall be thoroughly sanitized. The part or parts of any carcass coming into contact with the carcass or any part of the carcass of any rabbit covered by this section other than those affected with acute inflammation of the lungs, pleura, pericardium, peritoneum or meninges, shall be condemned.

(g) Carcasses showing any degree of icterus with a parenchymatous degeneration of organs, the result of infection or intoxication, and those which, as a result of a pathological condition, show an intense yellow or greenish-yellow discoloration without evidence of infection or intoxication shall be condemned.

(h) Carcasses of rabbits affected with mange or scab in advanced stages, or showing emaciation or extension of the inflammation to the flesh, shall be condemned. When the diseased condition is slight, the carcass may be passed for food after removal and condemnation of the affected parts.

(i) In the disposal of carcasses and parts of carcasses showing evidence of infestation with parasites not transmissible to man, the following general rules shall govern: If the lesions are localized in such manner and are of such character that the parasites and the lesions caused by them may be radically removed, the non-affected portion of the carcass, or part of the carcass, may be certified for food after the removal and condemnation of the affected portions. Where a part of a carcass shows numerous lesions caused by parasites, or the character of the infestation is such that complete extirpation of the parasites and lesions is difficult and uncertainly accomplished, or if the parasitic infestation or invasion renders the organ or part in any way unfit for food, the affected organ or part shall be condemned. Where parasites are found to be distributed in a carcass in such a manner or to be of such a character that their removal and the removal of the lesions caused by them are impracticable, no part of the carcass shall be certified for food and the entire carcass shall be condemned. Carcasses infested with a hydatid cyst or cysts (Echinococcus granulosis), transmissible to dogs and from dogs to man, shall in all cases be condemned regardless of the degree of infestation.

(j) Carcasses of rabbits showing such degree of emaciation or anemic condition as would render the meat unwholesome, and carcasses which show a slimy degeneration of the fat or a serious infiltration of the muscles shall be condemned.

§ 354.131 - Decomposition.

Carcasses of rabbits deleteriously affected by post-mortem changes shall be disposed of as follows:

(a) Carcasses which have reached a state of putrefaction or stinking fermentation shall be condemned.

(b) [Reserved]

(c) Carcasses affected by types of post-mortem change which are superficial in nature may be certified for food after removal and condemnation of affected parts.

§ 354.132 - Disposal of condemned carcasses and parts.

All condemned carcasses, or parts of carcasses, shall be disposed of by one of the following methods, under the supervision of an inspector of the Inspection Service: (Facilities and materials for carrying out the requirements in this section shall be furnished by the official establishment.)

(a) Steam treatment (which shall be accomplished by processing the condemned product in a pressure tank under at least 40 pounds of steam pressure) or thorough cooking in a kettle or vat for a sufficient time to effectively destroy the product for human food purposes and preclude dissemination of disease through consumption by animals. Tanks and equipment used for this purpose or for rendering or preparing inedible products shall be in rooms or compartments separate from those used for the preparation of edible products. There shall be no direct connection, by means of pipes or otherwise, between tanks containing inedible products and those containing edible products.

(b) Incineration or complete destruction by burning.

(c) Chemical denaturing, which shall be accomplished by the liberal application to all carcasses and parts thereof, of:

(1) Crude carbolic acid,

(2) Kerosene, fuel oil, or used crank case oil,

(3) Any phenolic disinfectant conforming to commercial standards CS 70-41 or CS 71-41 which shall be used in at least 2 percent emulsion or solution, or

(4) Any other substance that the Administrator approves which will decharacterize the carcasses or parts to the extent necessary to accomplish the purposes of this section.

Reinspection and Ingredients

§ 354.133 - Reinspection of edible products; ingredients.

(a) Any inspected and certified edible product may be brought into an official plant only if the container of such product is marked for identification in the manner prescribed in § 354.71(b) and the product is reinspected by an inspector at the time it is brought into such plant. Upon reinspection, if any such product or portion thereof is found to be unsound, unwholesome, or otherwise unfit for human food, such product, or portion thereof, shall be condemned and shall receive treatment as provided in § 354.127.

(b) Any product which is prepared under inspection in an official plant shall be inspected in such plant as often as the inspector deems it necessary in order to ascertain whether such product is sound, wholesome, and fit for human food at the time such product leaves such plant. Upon any such inspection, if any such product or portion thereof is found to be unsound, unwholesome, or otherwise unfit for human food, such product or portion thereof shall be condemned and shall receive treatment as provided in § 354.127.

(c) All substances and ingredients used in the manufacture or preparation of any edible product shall be clean, sound, wholesome, and fit for human food. Liquid and frozen egg products used in the preparation of any edible product shall have been prepared under continuous inspection of the Department.

Appeals

§ 354.134 - Appeal inspections; how made.

Any person receiving inspection service may, if dissatisfied with any decision of an inspector relating to any inspection, file an appeal from such decision: Provided, That such appeal is filed within 48 hours from the time the decision was made. Any such appeal from a decision of an inspector shall be made to his immediate superior having jurisdiction over the subject matter of the appeal. Review of such appeal findings, when requested, shall be made by the immediate superior of the employee of the Department making the appeal inspection. The cost of any such appeal shall be borne by the applicant if the Administrator determines that the appeal is frivolous. The charges for such frivolous appeal shall be based on the hourly rates as specified in § 354.101(b).

Inspection Certificates

§ 354.140 - Forms of inspection certificates.

Each inspection certificate issued pursuant to the regulations in this part shall be approved by the Administrator as to form, and:

(a) Each rabbit inspection certificate shall show the class or classes of rabbits, the quantity of product contained in the respective lot, and all pertinent information concerning the condition and wholesomeness thereof;

(b) Each food product inspection certificate shall show the names of the edible products covered by such certificate, the quantity of each such product, such shipping marks as are necessary to identify such products, and all pertinent information concerning the condition and wholesomeness thereof;

(c) Each export certificate shall show the respective names of the exporter and the consignee, the destination, the shipping marks, the numbers of the export stamps attached to the edible products to be exported and covered by the certificate, and the names of such products and the total net weight thereof.

§ 354.141 - Issuance and disposition of rabbits inspection certificates.

(a) Upon the request of an interested party, any inspector is authorized to issue a rabbit inspection certificate with respect to any lot of rabbits inspected by him. Each certificate shall be signed by the inspector who made the inspection covered by the certificate, and if more than one inspector participated in the inspection of the lot of rabbits, each such inspector shall sign the certificate with respect to such lot.

(b) The original and a copy of each inspection certificate, issued pursuant to §§ 354.140 to 354.144, and not to exceed two additional copies thereof if requested by the applicant prior to issuance, shall, immediately upon issuance, be delivered or mailed to the applicant or person designated by him. One copy shall be filed in the office of the area supervisor serving the area in which the inspection was performed, and the remaining copies shall be disposed of in such manner as the Administrator may approve. Additional copies of any such certificate may be furnished to any interested party as provided in § 354.105.

§ 354.142 - Food product inspection certificates; issuance and disposition.

(a) Upon the request of an interested party, any inspector is authorized to issue a food product inspection certificate with respect to any inspected and certified edible product after suitable examination of the product has been made by the inspector.

(b) The original of each food product inspection certificate, and not to exceed two copies thereof, if requested, shall, immediately upon issuance, be delivered or mailed to the applicant or person designated by him. Another copy shall be filed in the office of the regional supervisor serving the area in which such certificate was issued, and one copy shall be forwarded to the Administrator. The last named two copies shall be retained until otherwise ordered by the Administrator.

§ 354.143 - Export certificates; issuance and disposition.

(a) Upon the request of an exporter, any inspector is authorized to issue an export certificate with respect to the shipment to any foreign country of any inspected and certified edible product after suitable examination of the product has been made by the inspector.

(b) Each export certificate shall be issued in quintuplicate; the original shall be delivered to the exporter who requested such certificate, and the duplicate copy shall be delivered to the agent of the railroad or other carrier transporting such products from the United States. The triplicate copy of such export certificate shall be forwarded to the Administrator; the quadruplicate copy shall be filed in the office of the regional supervisor serving the area in which such export certificate was issued, and the memorandum copy shall be retained by the inspector for filing. The last named three copies shall be retained until otherwise ordered by the Administrator.

§ 354.144 - Advance information.

Upon the request of an applicant, all or part of the contents of any inspection certificate issued to such applicant may be telephoned or telegraphed to him, or to any person designated by him, at his expense.

Basis of Acceptability of Other Official Inspection Systems

§ 354.160 - General.

Any rabbit inspection system may be deemed to be acceptable to the Administrator which:

(a) Is conducted under the authority of laws, ordinances, or similar enactments of the State, county, city, or other political subdivision in which is located the official plant at which the ready-to-cook rabbits are prepared and

(b) Imposes at least the requirements set forth in § 354.161: Provided, That no such inspection shall be deemed acceptable to the Administrator with respect to any official plant in which ready-to-cook rabbits are prepared if he finds at any time that such requirements are not adequately enforced.

§ 354.161 - Requirements as to manner of inspection.

(a) The inspection shall be conducted by an inspector who is a qualified veterinarian or under the supervision of a qualified veterinarian. All such inspectors shall be employed by the State, county, city, or other political subdivision in which the official plant is located.

(b) The inspection shall include post-mortem examination of each rabbit carcass during the evisceration operation.

(c) All carcasses which show evidence of disease or any other condition which may render them unwholesome or unfit for food shall be condemned and shall be destroyed for food purposes under the supervision of an inspector. Each carcass and part thereof which has been inspected and passed or containers of carcasses or parts thereof shall bear the identifying inspection symbol of the official inspection system and the marking devices or labels shall be in the custody of the inspector at all times.

§ 354.162 - Determining compliance with § 354.161.

A qualified veterinary supervisor of the rabbit inspection service shall investigate the manner of operation of the inspection system to determine the adequacy of the post-mortem examination and the compliance with the requirements contained in §§ 354.160 to 354.162 prior to approving the official plant for the inspection of ready-to-cook rabbits. This supervisor, as well as any official graders who may be stationed in the official plant, shall periodically observe the inspection operations in the official plant to determine that the requirements of §§ 354.160 to 354.162 are being met.

Sanitary Requirements

General

§ 354.210 - Minimum standards for sanitation, facilities, and operating procedures in official plants.

The provisions of §§ 354.210 to 354.247 shall apply with respect to inspection service in all official plants. The table set forth in § 354.247 indicates some of the types of material which may be used in the construction of equipment, utensils, and facilities for use in the plant.

Buildings and Plant Facilities

§ 354.220 - Buildings.

The buildings shall be of sound construction and kept in good repair, and shall be of such construction as to prevent the entrance or harboring of vermin.

(a) Outside openings. (1) The doors, windows, skylights, and other outside openings of the plant, except receiving rooms and live rabbit holding rooms, shall be protected by properly fitted screens or other suitable devices against the entrance of flies and other insects.

(2) Outside doors, except in receiving rooms and live rabbit holding rooms, shall be self-closing and so hung that not over 1/4-inch clearance remains when closed. Screen doors shall open toward the outside of the building.

§ 354.221 - Rooms and compartments.

Rooms and compartments used for edible products shall be separate and distinct from inedible products departments and from rooms where rabbits are slaughtered and skinned. Separate rooms shall be provided when required for conducting processing operations in a sanitary manner, and all rooms shall be of sufficient size to permit the installation of the necessary equipment for processing operations and the conduct of such operations in a sanitary manner.

(a) Rooms for separate operation. The official plant should have separate rooms for each of the following operations depending upon the various types of operations conducted, but, in no case, shall the receiving or holding of live rabbits or killing operations be permitted in rooms in which eviscerating operations are performed:

(1) The receiving and feeding of live rabbits.

(2) Killing and skinning operations.

(3) Eviscerating, chilling, and packing operations for ready-to-cook rabbits.

(4) Inedible products departments.

(5) Refuse room.

(b) Rooms for holding carcasses for further inspection. Rooms and compartments in which carcasses or parts thereof are held for further inspection shall be in such number and such location as the needs of the inspection in the plant may require. They shall be equipped with locks and keys and the keys shall not leave the custody of the inspector in charge of the plant. All such rooms and compartments shall be marked conspicuously with the word “retained” in letters not less than 2 inches high.

(c) Coolers and freezers. Coolers and freezers of adequate size and capacity shall be provided to reduce the internal temperature of ready-to-cook rabbits prepared and otherwise handled in the plant to 36 °F. within 24 hours unless other cooling facilities are available.

(d) Refuse rooms. Refuse rooms shall be entirely separate from other rooms in the plant, and shall have tight fitting doors and be properly ventilated.

(e) Storage and supply rooms. The storage and supply rooms shall be in good repair, kept dry, and maintained in a sanitary condition.

(f) Boiler room. The boiler room shall be a separate room, if necessary, to prevent its being a source of dirt and objectionable odors entering any room where ready-to-cook rabbits are prepared, processed, handled, and stored.

(g) Inspector's office. Furnished office space, including, but not being limited to, light, heat, and janitor service shall be provided rent free in the official plant for the exclusive use for official purposes of the inspector and the Administration. The room or rooms set apart for this purpose must meet with the approval of the regional supervisor and be conveniently located, properly ventilated, and provided with lockers or cabinets suitable for the protection and storage of supplies and with facilities suitable for inspectors to change clothing.

(h) Toilet rooms. Toilet rooms opening directly into rooms where rabbit products are exposed shall have self-closing doors and shall be ventilated to the outside of the building.

§ 354.222 - Floors, walls, ceilings, etc.

(a) Floors. All floors in rooms where exposed products are prepared or handled shall be constructed of or finished with materials impervious to moisture, so they can be readily and thoroughly cleaned. The floors in killing, ice cooling, ice packing, eviscerating, cooking, boning, and cannery rooms shall be graded for complete runoff with no standing water.

(b) Walls, posts, partitions, doors. All walls, posts, partitions, and doors in rooms where exposed products are prepared or handled shall be smooth and constructed of materials impervious to moisture to a height of 6 feet above the floor to enable thorough cleaning. All surfaces above this height must be smooth and finished with moisture-resistant material.

(c) Ceilings. Ceilings must be moisture-resistant in rooms where exposed products are prepared or handled, and finished and sealed to prevent collection of dirt or dust that might sift through flooring above or fall from collecting surfaces on equipment or exposed product.

§ 354.223 - Drainage and plumbing.

There shall be an efficient drainage and plumbing system for the plant and premises.

(a) Drains and gutters. All drains and gutters shall be properly installed with approved traps and vents. The drainage and plumbing system must permit the quick runoff of all water from plant buildings, and surface water around the plant and on the premises, and all such water shall be disposed of in such a manner as to prevent a nuisance or health hazard.

(b) Sewage and plant wastes. (1) The sewerage system shall have adequate slope and capacity to remove readily all waste from the various processing operations and to minimize, and if possible to prevent, stoppage and surcharging of the system.

(2) Grease traps which are connected with the sewerage system shall be suitably located but not near any edible products department or in any area where products are unloaded from or loaded into vehicles. To facilitate cleaning, such traps shall have inclined bottoms and be provided with suitable covers.

(3) Toilet soil lines shall be separate from house drainage lines to a point outside the buildings unless they are positively trapped to prevent backing up. Drainage from toilet bowls and urinals shall not be discharged into a grease catch basin.

(4) All floor drains shall be equipped with traps, constructed so as to minimize clogging, and the plumbing shall be so installed as to prevent sewerage from backing up and from flooding the floor.

(5) Floor drainage lines should be of metal and at least 4 inches in diameter and open into main drains of at least 6 inches in diameter and shall be properly vented to outside air.

(6) Where refrigerators are equipped with drains, such drains should be properly trapped and should discharge through an air gap into the sewer system. All new installations, and all replacements, or refrigerators equipped with drains shall meet these requirements.

§ 354.224 - Water supply.

The water supply shall be ample, clean, and potable with adequate facilities for its distribution in the plant and its protection against contamination and pollution.

(a) Hot water at a temperature not less than 180 °F. shall be available for sanitation purposes.

(b) Hose connections with steam and water mixing valves or hot water hose connections shall be provided at convenient locations throughout the plant for cleaning purposes.

(c) The refuse rooms shall be provided with adequate facilities for washing refuse cans and other equipment in the rooms; the rooms, cans, and equipment shall be cleaned after each day's use.

§ 354.225 - Lavatory accommodations.

Modern lavatory accommodations and properly located facilities for cleaning utensils and hands shall be provided.

(a) Adequate lavatory and toilet accommodations, including, but not being limited to, running hot water and cold water, soap, and towels, shall be provided. Such accommodations shall be in or near toilet and locker rooms and also at such other places in the plant as may be essential to the cleanliness of all personnel handling products.

(b) Sufficient metal containers shall be provided for used towels and other wastes.

(c) An adequate number of hand washing facilities serving areas where dressed rabbits and edible products are prepared shall be operated by other than hand-operated controls, or shall be of a continuous flow type which provides an adequate flow of water for washing hands.

(d) Durable signs shall be posted conspicuously in each toilet room and locker room directing employees to wash their hands before returning to work.

(e) Toilet facilities shall be provided according to the following formula:

Persons of same sex Toilet bowls required
1 to 15, inclusive1
16 to 35, inclusive2
36 to 55, inclusive1 3
56 to 80, inclusive1 4
For each additional 30 persons in excess of 801 1

1 Urinals may be substituted for toilet bowls but only to the extent of 1/3 of the total number of bowls stated.

§ 354.226 - Lighting and ventilation.

There shall be ample light, either natural or artificial or both, of good quality and well distributed, and sufficient ventilation for all rooms and compartments to insure sanitary conditions.

(a) All rooms in which rabbits are killed, eviscerated, or otherwise processed shall have at least 30 foot candles of light intensity on all working surfaces except that at the inspection stations such light intensity shall be of 50 foot candles. In all other rooms, there shall be provided at least 5 foot candles of light intensity when measured at distance of 30 inches from the floor.

(b) All rooms shall be adequately ventilated to eliminate objectionable odors and minimize moisture condensation.

Equipment and Utensils

§ 354.230 - Equipment and utensils.

Equipment and utensils used for the preparation, processing, or other handling of any product in the plant shall be suitable for the purpose intended and shall be of such material and construction as will facilitate their thorough cleaning and insure cleanliness in the preparation and handling of products.

(a) Live rabbit holding pens shall be so constructed as to allow satisfactory ante-mortem examination and to permit proper cleaning.

(b) Metal refuse containers shall be provided, and such containers shall be kept covered.

(c) Insofar as it is practical, equipment and utensils shall be made of metal or other impervious material. Trucks and receptacles used for handling inedible products shall be of similar construction and shall be conspicuously and distinctly marked and shall not be used for handling any edible products.

(d) Chilling vats or tanks used for chilling ready-to-cook rabbits shall be made of metal or other hard-surfaced impervious material.

(e) Where grading bins are used for ready-to-cook rabbits, they shall be of sufficient number and capacity to handle the grading adequately without the use of makeshift bins and all ready-to-cook rabbits shall be kept off the floor. Grading bins may be made of metal or enameled wood and shall be constructed and maintained in such a manner as to allow easy and thorough cleaning. All replacements of such bins shall, however, be of metal.

(f) Except as otherwise provided herein, all equipment and utensils used in the killing, skinning, eviscerating, chilling, and packing rooms shall be of metal or other impervious material and constructed so as to permit proper and complete cleaning.

(g) Conveyors: (1) Conveyors used in the preparation of ready-to-cook rabbits shall be of metal or other acceptable material and of such construction as to permit thorough and ready cleaning and easy identification of viscera with its carcass.

(2) Overhead conveyors shall be so constructed and maintained that they do not allow grease, oil, or dirt to accumulate on the drop chain or shackle, which shall be of noncorrosive metal.

(3) Nonmetallic belt-type conveyors used in moving edible products shall be of water-proof composition.

(h) Inspection, eviscerating, and cutting tables shall be made of metal and have coved corners and be so constructed and placed to permit thorough cleaning.

(i) In plants where no conveyors are used, each carcass shall be eviscerated in an individual metal tray of seamless construction.

(j) Water spray washing equipment shall be used for washing carcasses inside and out.

(k) Watertight metal receptacles shall be used for entrails and other waste resulting from preparation of ready-to-cook rabbits.

(l) Watertight trucks and receptacles for holding or handling diseased carcasses and diseased parts of carcasses shall be so constructed as to be readily and thoroughly cleaned; such trucks and receptacles shall be marked in a conspicuous manner with the word “condemned” in letters not less than 2 inches high and, when required by the inspector in charge, shall be equipped with facilities for locking and sealing.

(m) Freezing rooms should be adequately equipped to freeze ready-to-cook rabbits solid in less than 48 hours. Ready-to-cook rabbits should be frozen at temperatures of −10 °F. to −40 °F. and should be stored at 0 °F. or below, with the temperature maintained as constant as possible. Freezing room should be equipped with floor racks or pallets and fans to insure air circulation.

(n) Cooling racks should be made of metal and be readily accessible for thorough washing and cleaning. All replacements of cooling racks shall be made of metal.

(o) Trucks and receptacles in which carcasses or parts thereof are held for further inspection shall be in such number and such location as the needs of the inspection in the plant may require. They shall be equipped for locking by means of lock and key and the key shall not leave the custody of the inspector in charge of the plant. Such trucks and receptacles shall be marked conspicuously with the word “retained” in letters not less than 2 inches high.

§ 354.231 - Accessibility.

All equipment shall be so placed as to be readily accessible for all processing and cleaning operations.

§ 354.232 - Restrictions on use.

Equipment and utensils used in the official plant shall not be used outside the official plant except under such conditions as may be prescribed or approved by the national supervisor, and equipment used in the preparation of any article (including, but not being limited to, animal food) from inedible material shall not be used outside of the inedible products department except under such conditions as may be prescribed or approved by the national supervisor.

Maintenance of Sanitary Conditions and Precautions Against Contamination of Products

§ 354.240 - General.

The premises shall be kept free from refuse, waste materials, and all other sources of objectionable odors and conditions.

§ 354.241 - Cleaning of rooms and compartments.

Rooms, compartments, or other parts of the official plant shall be kept clean and in sanitary condition.

(a) All blood, offal, rabbits or parts of rabbits too severely damaged to be salvaged and all discarded containers and other materials shall be completely disposed of daily.

(b) All windows, doors, and light fixtures in the official plant shall be kept clean.

(c) All docks and rooms shall be kept clean and free from debris and unused equipment and utensils.

(d) Live rabbit receiving docks and receiving rooms shall be of such construction as readily to permit their thorough cleaning, and such docks and rooms should be kept clean at all times.

(e) Floors in live rabbit holding rooms shall be cleaned with such regularity as may be necessary to maintain them in a sanitary condition.

(f) The killing and skinning room shall be kept clean and free from offensive odors at all times.

(g) The walls, floors, and all equipment and utensils used in the killing and skinning room shall be thoroughly washed and cleaned after each day's operation.

(h) The floor in the killing and skinning rooms shall be cleaned frequently during killing and skinning operations and be kept reasonably free from accumulated blood, offal, water, and dirt.

(i) All equipment in the toilet room and locker room, as well as the room itself, shall be kept clean, sanitary, and in good repair.

(j) Cooler and freezer rooms shall be free from objectionable odors of any kind and shall be maintained in a sanitary condition (including, but not being limited to, the prevention of drippings from refrigerating coils onto products).

§ 354.242 - Cleaning of equipment and utensils.

Equipment and utensils used for preparing or otherwise handling any product shall be kept clean and in a sanitary condition and in good repair.

(a) Pens shall be cleaned regularly and the manure removed from the plant daily.

(b) All equipment and utensils used in the killing and skinning rooms shall be thoroughly washed and cleaned after each day's operation. The eviscerating, chilling, and packing room and equipment and utensils used therein shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

(c) Graders' and packers' gloves and grading bins shall be washed daily and used only for grading or packing, as the case may be.

(d) All crates or pens used for transporting live rabbits to the plant shall be cleaned regularly.

(e) Chilling vats or tanks, if practicable, shall be emptied after each use. They shall be thoroughly cleaned once daily and, after each cleaning operation, they shall be sanitized with such compounds or by such methods as may be approved or prescribed by the Administrator.

(f) When synchronized overhead conveyors and tray conveyors are used, the trays shall be completely washed and sanitized after being automatically emptied of inedible viscera.

(g) When a conveyor tray operation is used, each carcass shall be eviscerated in an individual metal tray of seamless construction, and such trays shall be completely washed and sanitized after each use.

(h) Tables, shelves, bins, trays, pans, knives, and all other tools and equipment used in the preparation of ready-to-cook rabbits shall be kept clean and sanitary at all times. Cleaned equipment and utensils shall be drained on racks and shall not be nested.

(i) Drums, cans, tanks, vats, and other receptacles used to hold or transport ready-to-cook rabbits shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

§ 354.243 - Operations and procedures.

Operations and procedures involving the preparation, storing, or handling of any product shall be strictly in accord with clean and sanitary methods.

(a) There shall be no handling or storing of materials which create an objectionable condition in rooms, compartments, or other places in the plant where any product is prepared, stored, or otherwise handled.

(b) Blood from the killing operation shall be confined to a relatively small area and kept from being splashed about the room.

(c) In the final washing, the carcass shall be passed through a system of sprays providing an abundant supply of fresh clean water.

(d) The floors in the eviscerating room shall be kept clean and reasonably dry during eviscerating operations and free of all refuse.

(e) Conveyors shall be operated at such speeds as will permit a sanitary eviscerating operation and will permit adequate inspection for condition and wholesomeness.

(f) Mechanized packaging equipment shall be maintained in good sanitary condition.

(g) All offal resulting from the eviscerating operation shall be removed as often as necessary to prevent the development of a nuisance.

(h) Paper and other material used for lining containers in which products are packaged shall be of such kinds as do not tear readily during use, but remain intact when moistened by the product. Wooden containers to be used for packaging ready-to-cook rabbits shall be fully lined except when the individual carcasses to be packaged therein are fully wrapped.

(i) Protective coverings shall be used for the product in the plant and as it is distributed from the plant, as will afford adequate protection for the product against contamination by any foreign substance (including, but not being limited to, dust, dirt, and insects), considering the means intended to be employed in transporting the product from the plant.

(j) Refuse may be moved directly to loading docks only for prompt removal.

(k) Cleanliness and hygiene of personnel: (1) All employees coming in contact with exposed edible products or edible products handling equipment shall wear clean garments and should wear caps or hair nets, and shall keep their hands clean at all times while thus engaged.

(2) Hands of employees handling edible products or edible products handling equipment shall be free of infected cuts, boils, and open sores at all times while thus engaged.

(3) Every person, after each use of toilet or change of garments, shall wash his hands thoroughly before returning to duties that require the handling of edible products or containers therefor or edible products handling equipment.

(4) Neither smoking nor chewing of tobacco shall be permitted in any room where exposed edible products are prepared, processed, or otherwise handled.

§ 354.244 - Temperatures and cooling and freezing procedures.

Temperatures and procedures which are necessary for cooling and freezing of rabbits in accordance with sound commercial practice shall be maintained in the coolers and freezers, and chilling temperatures and procedures shall also be in accordance with sound commercial practice.

(a) Cooling. Immediately after evisceration and washing of the carcass, it shall be placed in a cooling tank containing running cold tap water to remove the animal heat from the carcass. Carcasses shall not be allowed to remain in the cooling tank for longer than 1 hour.

(b) Air chilling. Immediately after the initial water chilling, the carcasses shall be placed in cooling racks and thereupon placed in a refrigerated cooler with moderate air movements and a temperature which will reduce the internal temperature of the carcasses to from 36 °F. to 40 °F., both inclusive, within 24 hours.

(c) Freezing. (1) When ready-to-cook rabbits are packaged in bulk or shipping containers, the carcasses should be individually wrapped or packaged in water-vapor resistant cartons or the containers should be lined with heavy water-vapor resistant paper so as to assure adequate overlapping of the lining to completely surround the carcasses and to permit unsealed closure or sealing in such a manner that water-vapor loss from the product is considerably retarded or prevented. The rabbit carcasses should receive an initial rapid freezing under such packaging, temperature, air circulation, and stacking conditions which will result in freezing the carcasses solid in less than 48 hours.

(2) Frozen ready-to-cook rabbits shall be held under conditions which will maintain the product in a solidly frozen state with temperature maintained as constant as possible.

(d) Refrigeration. Immediately after packaging, all ready-to-cook rabbits, other than those which are shipped from the plant in a refrigerated carrier, should be moved into the freezer, except that a period not exceeding 72 hours will be permitted for transportation and temporary holding before placing in the freezer provided such rabbits are held at not above 36 °F.

§ 354.245 - Vermin.

Every practicable precaution shall be taken to exclude flies, rats, mice, and other vermin from the official plant. Dogs, cats, and other pets shall be excluded from rooms where edible products are processed, handled, or stored.

§ 354.246 - Exclusion of diseased persons.

No person affected with any communicable disease (including, but not being limited to, tuberculosis) in a transmissible stage shall be permitted in any room or compartment where exposed or unpacked edible products are prepared, processed, or otherwise handled.

§ 354.247 - Table showing types of materials.

Equipment, utensils, and facilities Iron Stainless steel and monel metal Aluminum Galvanized iron
Holding pensAAAA
Overhead conveyorsAAAA
Conveyor trackAAA
ShacklesAA
Shackle chainAAA
Eviscerating pansAAA
Inspection tableAAA
Inside and outside washerAAA
Cooling tanks and racksAAA
Utensils for handling edible productsAAA
Framework (of equipment)A

Key: A - Acceptable.

§ 354.248 - Scope and applicability of rules of practice.

The rules of practice of the Department of Agriculture in subpart H of part I, subtitle A, title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, are the rules of practice applicable to adjudicatory, administrative proceedings under the regulations in this part (9 CFR part 354).

[43 FR 11148, Mar. 17, 1978]