§ 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.