18 AAC 32.600. Purpose and applicability (a) The purpose of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699 is to safeguard public health and to ensure that slaughtered or processed reindeer intended to be sold as part of commerce and intended for human consumption is safe and wholesome, is not adulterated, and is presented honestly within the state. (b) Except as provided in (c) of this section, the requirements of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699 apply to facilities that slaughter or process reindeer intended to be sold as part of commerce and intended for human consumption. (c) The requirements of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699 do not apply to reindeer meat (1) donated in accordance with 18 AAC 31.205; (2) sold in accordance with 18 AAC 31.820(a)(1) - (4); or (3) processed in accordance with 18 AAC 31.820(b).
18 AAC 32.601. Requirements adopted by reference (a) The following federal requirements are adopted by reference: (1) 9 C.F.R., Part 319, as revised as of January 1, 2003; (2) 21 C.F.R., Part 113, as revised as of April 1, 2003; (3) 21 C.F.R. Part 170 - 21 C.F.R. Part 186, as revised as of April 1, 2003; (4) 40 C.F.R., Part 180, as revised as of July 1, 2002. (b) The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Principles and Application Guidelines, revised as of August 14, 1997, by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, is adopted by reference.
18 AAC 32.605. Permit application requirements (a) Except as provided in (f) and (g) of this section, a person may operate a slaughtering or processing facility only if the department has issued a valid annual permit for that activity under this section. (b) An applicant must apply for a permit to operate a slaughtering or processing facility using a form provided by the department. The completed application must (1) include the permit fee required in 18 AAC 32.610; except as provided in (f)(4) of this section, the department will not review an application until the fee is received; (2) identify the type of activity to be permitted; (3) identify the types of products processed in the facility; (4) include a statement that the operator of the slaughtering or processing facility has (A) conducted a hazard analysis and developed a hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) plan as required by 18 AAC 32.660; and (B) developed and implemented a sanitation plan as required by 18 AAC 32.655; (5) for a new or extensively remodeled facility, include (A) a copy of the plans as required under 18 AAC 32.615; (B) the proposed volume and method of processing; (C) if applicable, identification of (i) the field ante-mortem inspection area where the department will view the health and condition of the reindeer during an ante-mortem inspection; (ii) the stunning or slaughtering area; and (iii) a vehicle that will protect the unskinned, uneviscerated reindeer from contamination when transporting the carcass to a permitted facility; and (D) if applicable, a statement that plans have been submitted for department review and approval under (i) 18 AAC 80 for the facility's public water system; (ii) 18 AAC 72 for wastewater disposal; and (iii) 18 AAC 60 for solid waste disposal; and (6) for a facility that thermally processes low-acid food, include a copy of the (A) food canning establishment registration (FDA form 2541) and the food canning establishment process filing form (FDA form 2541a) submitted to the FDA under 21 C.F.R. 108.25(c); and (B) scheduled process from a recognized processing authority with expertise as described in 21 C.F.R. 113.83, adopted by reference in 18 AAC 32.601; for purposes of this subparagraph, recognized processing authorities include the National Food Processors Association and the food science department of an accredited university. (c) Within 60 days after receiving a complete application, the department will (1) issue or deny the permit, based on the department's determination as to whether the facility meets the requirements of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699; and (2) assign a permit number to each facility that is permitted; the operator of the facility shall use the permit number to identify products that have been inspected and passed in accordance with 18 AAC 32.675 and 18 AAC 32.685; the department may assign the same permit number to two or more facilities by adding a letter identifying each separate facility to the facility number, if those facilities are operated by the same person. (d) A permit issued under this section is valid for the calendar year in which the permit is issued. A permit may not be transferred. A person who seeks to be the new operator of a slaughtering or processing facility with an existing valid permit must apply for and be issued a new permit under this section. However, that person is not required to submit plans under 18 AAC 32.615 unless the facility is also proposed to be extensively remodeled. (e) A permit must be conspicuously posted in public view in the facility. The operator shall post a copy of this chapter at the facility in an area freely and easily accessible by employees for review by employees. (f) The department will issue a conditional permit under this section if the department determines that a conditional permit serves the interests of public health and consumer protection and if (1) for a new or renovated slaughtering or processing facility, the initial inspection or plan review under 18 AAC 32.615 indicates (A) the facility is not in compliance with this chapter; (B) a critical violation or imminent health hazard does not exist; and (C) the operator agrees to correct violations within the time period specified on the inspection form in 18 AAC 32.690(g); (2) for an existing facility, a letter of agreement, negotiated order, compliance order, uniform summons and complaint, or other enforcement and compliance action has been issued by the department and signed by the operator of the slaughtering or processing facility for a violation of 18 AAC 60, 18 AAC 72, 18 AAC 80, or this chapter; (3) drinking water, wastewater disposal, or solid waste plans have been submitted for department review, as required by (b)(5)(D) of this section, but have not been reviewed; or (4) due to hardship, the operator makes a written request to the department to establish a fee payment schedule not to exceed six months for fees incurred under 18 AAC 32.610; a request submitted under this paragraph must include the (A) reason for the request; and (B) proposed fee payment schedule. (g) In a conditional permit issued under (f) of this section, the department will specify (1) each violation and the date by which that violation must be corrected in accordance with (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this section; or (2) the fee payment schedule agreed upon under (f)(4) of this section.
18 AAC 32.610. Fees (a) Except as provided in 18 AAC 32.605(f)(4), at the time of application for a new permit under 18 AAC 32.605, or within 30 days after receiving notice that a permit renewal fee is due under this section, the applicant shall pay to the department an annual permit fee as follows: (1) for a reindeer slaughtering facility: $300; (2) for a reindeer processing facility: $250; (3) for a facility in which both reindeer slaughtering and processing are performed: $500. (b) The annual fee in (a) of this section includes one 10 consecutive day ante- and post-mortem inspection provided by the department and required under 18 AAC 32.675. (c) In addition to the annual permit fee set out in (a) of this section, an operator who submits plans required in 18 AAC 32.615 shall pay to the department at the time of submission a plan review fee for each separate type of operation at the facility as follows: (1) for a reindeer slaughtering facility: $200; (2) for a reindeer processing facility: $200; (3) for a facility in which both reindeer slaughtering and processing are performed: $300. (d) In addition to the annual permit fee required in (a) of this section, an operator who requests more than one ante- and post-mortem inspection required under 18 AAC 32.675 per calendar year shall pay to the department, before the inspection, a fee of $1,000 for each 10 consecutive day ante- and post-mortem inspection service under 18 AAC 32.675. (e) A person who disputes an invoice issued under this section may request a fee review under 18 AAC 15.190.
18 AAC 32.615. Facility plan approval (a) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall submit to the department plans that comply with (b) of this section for approval before construction or commencing operation if the operator (1) is submitting an application to the department for the first time; (2) proposes to construct a new facility; or (3) proposes that an existing facility be extensively remodeled. (b) Plans submitted under (a) of this section must include (1) the location of each slaughtering, processing, and storage building, and of each holding pen, road, alley, dock, and other area that is part of the facility location and that will be used to support the slaughtering, processing, packaging, storage, or transportation of reindeer products; (2) a detailed to-scale drawing of the slaughtering or processing facility identifying the type and model of equipment and plumbing fixtures and accurately depicting the location or placement of equipment and plumbing fixtures such as sinks and toilets; (3) a plumbing schematic that accurately depicts potable water lines, nonpotable water lines, wastewater lines, floor drains, and grease traps; (4) the construction and design specifications for equipment; (5) types and location specifications for lighting and ventilation; (6) a description of the surface finish of walls, floors, and ceilings in slaughtering, processing, packaging, and storage areas; and (7) the plan review fee required in 18 AAC 32.610. (c) The department will approve plans submitted under this section if the plans meet the requirements of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699. (d) The department will, if the department determines that an inspection serves the interests of public health and consumer protection, conduct an inspection of a facility to confirm compliance with this chapter and the plans approved under this section.
18 AAC 32.620. Facility requirements (a) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) the facility is of adequate size, design, and construction to (A) accommodate slaughtering, processing, packaging, and storage of food products; and (B) prevent contamination of food products, food ingredients, food-contact surfaces, and packaging materials; (2) the vicinity immediately outside of the facility is (A) free from litter, waste, refuse, uncut weeds, and uncut grass that might attract or harbor pests; and (B) adequately drained to prevent contamination through seepage or footborne filth and to avoid creating a breeding place for insects or microorganisms; (3) each opening to the outside is protected against the entrance of rodents, insects, and other pests; if screening material is used, the screening material must be tight fitting, free from breaks, and not less than 16 mesh to the inch; (4) fixtures, ducts, and pipes are designed, or otherwise covered or protected, to prevent drippage or condensate in an area used for slaughtering, processing, or storage of food, food ingredients, or packaging materials; (5) sleeping or living quarters are separated from slaughtering, processing, and food storage or packaging areas by a solid, stationary, floor-to-ceiling wall to prevent direct access from these areas to the sleeping or living quarters; (6) light bulbs, glass fixtures, skylights, or other glass suspended over slaughtering, processing, packaging, or storage areas are shielded to protect the food product from broken glass; (7) the facility has lighting of at least (A) 50 footcandles, measured at the work surface, in areas where (i) carcasses are eviscerated, skinned, trimmed, or inspected; (ii) reindeer is processed; or (iii) utensils are cleaned and sanitized; and (B) 20 footcandles, evenly distributed to all other areas not described in (A) of this paragraph, including all food product holding and refrigerated and dry storage areas; (8) odors, noxious fumes, and excessive dust or vapors, including steam, are minimized and controlled to protect food, packaging materials, and food-contact surfaces of equipment from contamination; (9) the inside walls in (A) any area that may be splashed with water or other processing wastes during processing and cleaning is made of a solid material that is nonabsorbent, durable, smooth, easily cleanable, and sealed to the floor; if the solid material is less than the full height of the wall, the top of the solid material must be sealed to the wall; (B) eviscerating, skinning, trimming, processing, and other areas where water is used to flush or spray clean the walls are made of tile, sealed or noncorrosive metal, fiberglass, or another nonabsorbent, durable, smooth, and easily cleanable material designed for its intended use; and (C) dry storage areas are easily cleanable; (10) floors in (A) all areas except those described in (C) of this paragraph are smooth, easily cleanable, durable, and nonabsorbent; (B) eviscerating, skinning, trimming, processing, and other areas where water is used to flush or spray clean the floors are (i) made of sealed concrete, sealed or noncorrosive metal, fiberglass, or another nonabsorbent, durable, smooth, and easily cleanable material designed for its intended use; and (ii) designed to slope uniformly at a minimum of one-quarter vertical inch per two horizontal feet; and (C) warehouse and storage rooms used for dry storage are made of a material that is durable and easily cleanable; (11) overhead rails (A) are located so that any exposed carcass, viscera, or meat does not come in contact with support posts, walls, or other fixed parts of the building or equipment when hanging or when moved along the rail; and (B) provide at least two feet of clearance between the floor and the bottom of the carcass; (12) hanging plastic strip partitions are not used to separate areas where exposed product or personnel handling raw product must move in between the areas; (13) an area for department employees to prepare paperwork and store equipment and tools is provided; (14) only those poisonous or toxic materials that are necessary to clean the facility, clean and sanitize equipment and utensils, maintain facility equipment and vehicles, and control insects and rodents, or that are used in laboratory testing procedures are on the premises; (15) poisonous and toxic materials are labeled in accordance with state and federal law and are used in accordance with the label; and (16) poisonous and toxic materials are not stored with food products, food ingredients, packaging materials, equipment, or utensils, except that utensil and equipment cleaning and sanitizing materials may be stored in the warewashing area. (b) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that insects, rodents, and other pests are eliminated from the premises. The department may require the operator to hire a commercial pest control applicator certified under 18 AAC 90 to control an insect, rodent, or other pest problem if the operator does not demonstrate to the department's satisfaction that the operator has adequately controlled the problem with pesticides and traps, or if the department determines that an imminent health hazard exists. If the department requires a certified commercial pest control applicator under this subsection, the operator shall provide documentation to the department detailing the actions taken by the applicator.
18 AAC 32.625. Water, wastewater, solid waste, and plumbing (a) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) an adequate supply of potable water from a public water system constructed and operated as required by 18 AAC 80 is provided; (2) wastewater from the facility is discharged into a public sewer or a wastewater system built and operated as required by 18 AAC 72; (3) hide, viscera, and other solid waste is disposed of (A) often enough to prevent odors or attraction of insects, rodents, or other pests; and (B) in compliance with 18 AAC 60; (4) plumbing is sized, installed, and maintained as required by the state plumbing code as developed under AS 18.60.705, and by applicable municipal plumbing codes, and is consistent with good public health practices; (5) plumbing does not create an unsanitary condition and is not a source of contamination to (A) food products; (B) food ingredients; (C) packaging materials; (D) water supplies; (E) equipment; or (F) utensils; (6) any nonpotable water system is used only for (A) fire protection; (B) air conditioning; (C) heating; or (D) flushing toilets; (7) each outlet on a nonpotable water line is posted: "DANGER - UNSAFE WATER"; (8) except as required in (b)(3) and (c) of this section and unless the department has approved an alternate water storage and dispensing system as consistent with good public health practices, hot and cold running water under pressure is provided to each plumbing fixture with faucets, including handsinks, warewashing sinks, sinks used for preparation or processing, and janitorial sinks; (9) the potable water system is equipped with devices to prevent backflow and back-siphonage at fixtures and equipment unless a permanent air gap at least twice the diameter of the water supply inlet separates the water supply inlet and the equipment or fixture's flood level rim; (10) grease traps, if used, are accessible for cleaning and kept clean; and (11) drain lines from equipment, except from sterilizers and splitting saws, do not discharge wastewater directly on a floor. (b) To assist with cleaning, the operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) hose connections are installed in areas where normal operations cause contamination of the floors, walls, or equipment; these areas include the processing, gutting, and trimming areas; (2) racks or reels are installed for storage of the hoses and prevent the hoses from contacting the floor; and (3) water at or above 180_ F is provided to clean equipment, floors, and walls that are subject to contamination through the dressing or handling of diseased reindeer, fecal material, or other sources of contamination. (c) For facilities constructed or extensively remodeled after 9/6/2003 and where 180_ F water is required for cleaning, the operator shall ensure that inline thermometers are installed where the hose attaches to the faucet to show the temperature of the water.
18 AAC 32.630. Toilet and handsink requirements The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) each toilet room (A) is equipped with (i) the number of toilet fixtures, urinals, and handsinks required by the state plumbing code as developed under AS 18.60.705; and (ii) a sign directing employees to wash hands with soap or detergent before returning to work stations; the signs must be printed in English and in other languages or pictures if necessary for employee understanding; (iii) toilet paper in a dispenser; and (iv) easily cleanable refuse receptacles that are kept clean; (B) is kept clean; (C) is constructed so that the floor, the surface of the wall within four feet of the floor, and the intersection between the floor and the wall are covered with materials impervious to water and are kept clean; the intersection between the wall and the floor must be covered; (D) has a self-closing door; in addition, each entrance to the toilet room must be located so that access by the public, if any, does not require passing through a slaughtering or processing area; and (E) is ventilated to the outside of the building by a mechanical fan; (2) a handsink is also located in the processing area and (A) in an area central to the inspector's station, blood pit, heading station, evisceration station, and trimming station, if the department determines that the location of the handsink serves the interest of public health and consumer protection; or (B) at the (i) inspector's station; (ii) blood pit; (iii) heading station; (iv) evisceration station; and (v) trimming station; and (3) each handsink has (A) if self-dispensing or metering faucets are used, self-dispensing or metering faucets that provide a flow of water for at least 10 seconds; (B) sanitary paper towels in a dispenser; and (C) hand-cleaning soap or detergent dispensed from a dispenser; and (D) either knee or foot controls, if the handsink is located in a processing, gutting, or trimming area.
18 AAC 32.635. Equipment and utensil design, location, and storage The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) each material used in the construction of utensils and food-contact surfaces of equipment is (A) safe, durable, corrosion resistant, and nonabsorbent; (B) sufficient in weight and thickness to withstand repeated washing; (C) finished to have a smooth and easily cleanable surface; and (D) resistant to pitting, chipping, scoring, distortion, and decomposition; (2) solder is lead-free and corrosion resistant; (3) each substance or material that comes in contact with food is of food-grade quality and may be used for the intended purpose; (4) equipment and utensils are adequate for the intended use, and are designed, installed, and maintained to permit equipment, utensils, and adjacent spaces to be easily cleaned; (5) a stainless steel inspection table is installed adjacent to the evisceration area for use by department employees; (6) knife sterilizers (A) are located at the inspection table described in (5) of this section and at locations in the plant where the carcasses are eviscerated, split, or trimmed; (B) are constructed of stainless steel and are of sufficient size for complete immersion of knives, cleavers, saws, and other implements in 180_ F water; and (C) have a means to be filled with water, to maintain the water at 180_ F or above, and to be completely emptied of water; (7) sheaths and similar devices for the temporary storage of knives, sharpening tools, and other implements are constructed of impervious materials that are easily cleanable; and (8) hoses used to wash or sanitize the facility and equipment are not longer than 50 feet.
18 AAC 32.640. Cleaning and sanitizing (a) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) utensils and food-contact surfaces of equipment are (A) cleaned, rinsed, and sanitized according to the frequency in the sanitation plan required by 18 AAC 32.655; and (B) stored in a location and manner to protect surfaces from contamination, including splash and dust; and (2) nonfood contact equipment, utensils, surfaces, and areas around equipment and utensils that are near food products, food ingredients, food-contact surfaces, or packaging materials, are kept free from contaminants, including excessive dust, dirt, food particles, and other debris. (b) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility must use the following sanitizing and testing methods: (1) immersion for at least 30 seconds in clean water at a temperature of 180_ F or above; (2) immersion for at least 30 seconds in one of the following clean sanitizing solutions at a temperature of 75_ F or above: (A) 50 ppm of available chlorine as hypochlorite; (B) 12.5 - 25 ppm available iodine with a pH of 5.0 or less; (C) quaternary ammonium compound at a concentration specified by the manufacturer and included on the label, with a pH of 6.0 or more and water hardness no more than 500 ppm, following the manufacturer's instructions regarding use of a final rinse after sanitization; (3) for equipment that is not able to be immersed, rinsing, spraying, or swabbing with a clean sanitizing solution described in (2) of this subsection.
18 AAC 32.645. Food condition and source (a) The operator of a processing facility shall ensure that food processed in the facility is wholesome, not adulterated, and safe for human consumption. For purposes of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699, "adulterated" has the meaning given in AS 17.20.020 and AS 17.20.030. In addition, a food is adulterated if it contains (1) an unapproved food additive or an additive in an amount that exceeds an amount allowed in 21 C.F.R. Part 170 - 21 C.F.R. Part 180, adopted by reference in 18 AAC 32.601; (2) a substance sanctioned by the FDA, or a substance generally recognized as safe by the FDA, in an amount that exceeds an amount allowed in 21 C.F.R. Part 181 - 21 C.F.R. Part 186, adopted by reference in 18 AAC 32.601; or (3) a pesticide residue in an amount that exceeds an amount allowed in 40 C.F.R. Part 180, adopted by reference in 18 AAC 32.601. (b) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall take measures to prevent the contamination of food products, food ingredients, utensils, equipment, and packaging materials and shall (1) inspect food products and food ingredients upon receipt to ensure they are (A) in sound condition, and are free from spoilage, filth, or other contamination; and (B) received at 41_ F or below, if they are potentially hazardous foods; (2) segregate food products and food ingredients that (A) are not in sound condition; (B) have not been held at 41_ F or below, if they are potentially hazardous foods; or (C) are spoiled, filthy, or otherwise contaminated; and (3) ensure that (A) meat and other food ingredients and food products are handled and processed in accordance with the HACCP plan under 18 AAC 32.660; (B) ready-to-eat food products are protected from cross-contamination from food requiring additional processing; (C) food is prepared with the least possible hand contact by the proper use of utensils or single-use gloves; and (D) food is covered during storage except during necessary cooling periods; quarters, sides, or large cuts of meat may be hung uncovered on clean hooks if no part of the meat touches any part of the surroundings, including the walls, floors, boxes, or shelving, and if other food is not stored under the meat. (c) The operator of a processing facility shall provide to the department, at least 30 days before processing, a copy of a letter from each manufacturer of each spice or other compound that comes in contact with or is added to the meat during the processing that verifies that the spice or compound is of food-grade quality and may be used by the processor for the intended purpose.
18 AAC 32.650. Personnel (a) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that an individual with an infected wound or a disease communicable by food, including an employee with persistent sneezing or coughing or with a persistent runny nose, does not work in any capacity that might contaminate food products, food ingredients, food-contact surfaces of clean equipment or utensils, or packaging materials with an infectious or toxigenic microorganism, or that might transmit disease to others. The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall instruct employees to report any adverse health condition to their supervisor. (b) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that each employee who works in direct contact with food products, food ingredients, food-contact surfaces, or packaging materials (1) wears clean outer garments, maintains a high degree of personal cleanliness, and uses good hygienic practices while on duty to prevent contamination of food products, food ingredients, food-contact surfaces, or packaging materials; (2) removes jewelry, watches, and other objects during processing that might fall into food products, food ingredients, equipment, or containers; (3) uses a hair net, including a beard net if applicable, or another effective hair restraint; the hair restraint must (A) prevent hair from falling into or contacting food; and (B) minimize hand contact with hair; (4) washes hands thoroughly (A) before starting work; (B) after each absence from the work station; and (C) at other times when hands are soiled or contaminated; (5) keeps gloves and outer garments that are worn while handling food in a clean and sanitary condition; gloves and outer garments (A) must be changed frequently to prevent contamination of food products, food ingredients, food-contact surfaces, or packaging materials; and (B) worn while slaughtering must be changed before processing food; and (6) does not store street clothing or other personal belongings, eat food, drink beverages, or use tobacco in a slaughtering or processing area or an area where food products, food ingredients, food-contact surfaces, or packaging materials are stored. (c) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that whenever food products are being processed, an individual who has the education and experience necessary for the production of unadulterated food products is responsible for identifying sanitation problems and potential food contamination and is present in the processing facility. (d) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that food handlers and supervisors receive training in slaughtering procedures, processing methods and controls, cleaning and sanitizing practices, and hygienic practices.
18 AAC 32.655. Sanitation plan (a) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall develop, implement, maintain, and make available to the department a written sanitation plan that describes the sanitation procedures to be followed in each area of the facility including slaughtering areas, processing areas, and dry and cold storage areas. The sanitation plan must describe (1) how the operator intends to meet the sanitation requirements of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699, including the monitoring required by (b) of this section; and (2) the frequency with which (A) surfaces and areas other than food-contact surfaces are to be cleaned; and (B) food-contact surfaces are to be cleaned and sanitized before, during, and after processing. (b) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall monitor the conditions and practices during slaughtering or processing with adequate frequency to ensure compliance with all sanitation procedures to be implemented to prevent contamination or adulteration of food products, including (1) if a food product is condemned or considered inedible under 18 AAC 32.675, how that food product is to be removed and disposed of; (2) pest control procedures used, as required by 18 AAC 32.620(b), including a list of rodenticides, insecticides, and herbicides used and procedures followed to ensure that use is restricted to knowledgeable persons to prevent misuse; (3) proper labeling, storage, and use of poisonous and toxic materials, as required by 18 AAC 32.620(a)(14) - (16); (4) the type and concentration level of each sanitizer used as required by 18 AAC 32.640, cleanliness of equipment and utensils, including containers, pans, and tubs that are used to store and transport food, and areas around equipment and utensils including the walls, floors, and drains; monitoring for compliance must include the oversight of, and keeping of records for, the (A) cleaning frequency for surfaces and areas other than food-contact surfaces; and (B) cleaning and sanitizing frequency for food-contact surfaces before, during, and after processing; monitoring under this subparagraph must include the length of time between each cleaning and sanitizing during each 24-hour period; (5) the prevention of cross-contamination, as required by 18 AAC 32.645; and (6) instructions given to employees to ensure that, as required by 18 AAC 32.650, good hygienic practices are followed, and employee health conditions are controlled. (c) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall maintain records that document (1) the name and position of each individual responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the sanitation procedures; (2) the signature and date of signature of the operator upon initial implementation and upon any modifications to the sanitation plan; (3) the monitoring required by (b) of this section; and (4) each instance of nonconformance with the sanitation plan or a requirement set out in (b) of this section, including (A) a description of the nonconformance; (B) the action taken by the operator to correct the nonconformance; and (C) the length of time between the observation of the nonconformance and the initiation of the action taken to correct it. (d) Sanitation plan monitoring records must be (1) kept for a minimum of six months at the facility; and (2) available for department review. (e) The department may require the operator of a slaughtering or processing facility with repeated or multiple incidents of nonconformance with the operator's sanitation plan or a requirement set out in (b) of this section to submit the written sanitation plan to the department for review and approval.
18 AAC 32.660. Hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) plan (a) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility where smoking, curing, dehydrating, thermally processing low-acid food, reduced oxygen packaging, or other processes are used that allow the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms, or the slower growth of Clostridium botulinum, shall develop, implement, maintain, and make available to the department a HACCP plan that includes (1) the name and position of each person with primary responsibility for food safety, including the name and position of each person who decides whether a deviation from the HACCP plan has occurred; (2) the signature and date of signature of the operator upon initial implementation and upon any modifications to the HACCP plan; (3) a process flow diagram that outlines each step in the (A) slaughtering, evisceration, skinning, and trimming operations; and (B) processing operation for each food product; (4) the written hazard analysis used to determine when a food safety hazard is likely to occur; and (5) specific critical control points in the operations, and processes for each critical control point where monitoring of practices or physical parameters must occur, including (A) the schedule for monitoring; (B) the monitoring procedures and records; (C) corrective action; and (D) verification procedures. (b) In addition to reviewing a HACCP plan under 18 AAC 32.690, the department may require the operator of a slaughtering or processing facility with a critical violation at a point in the slaughtering or processing that has not already been identified in the operator's HACCP plan as a critical control point to submit the HACCP plan to the department for review and comment.
18 AAC 32.665. Thermal processing An operator of a facility that thermally processes low-acid foods packaged in hermetically sealed containers shall, in addition to the requirements of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699, (1) meet the requirements of 21 C.F.R. Part 113, adopted by reference in 18 AAC 32.601; and (2) ensure that water used to cool a product thermally processed in a retort is chlorinated or otherwise sanitized, using a sanitizing solution to provide a measurable residual of free available chlorine or the equivalent at the discharge of the cooling system.
18 AAC 32.670. Humane slaughter The operator of a slaughtering facility shall ensure that reindeer are (1) shot using a single shot to the head or neck by mechanical means, so that the reindeer will be immediately rendered unconscious with a minimum of excitement and discomfort before being shackled, hoisted, cast, or cut; for purposes of this paragraph, mechanical means includes captive bolt or gunshot; (2) bled immediately after being stunned or killed.
18 AAC 32.675. Ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection (a) A reindeer that is slaughtered for human consumption must have an ante- and post-mortem inspection conducted by the department. (b) The department will (1) conduct an ante-mortem inspection only on the day of the slaughter; and (2) withhold a reindeer from slaughter if that reindeer shows signs of disease or other conditions that would make that reindeer unfit for human consumption on ante-mortem inspection. (c) During the post-mortem inspection and until the post-mortem examination is completed, the operator of a slaughtering facility shall ensure that all viscera of each slaughtered reindeer are kept with the rest of the carcass to identify the viscera as being derived from the same reindeer. (d) If the department condemns only a portion of a carcass due to bruising or contamination that can be trimmed, the operator may remove the bruised or contaminated portion immediately so that the uncondemned portion may be reinspected. (e) If the department determines the carcass and parts are sound, healthful, wholesome, and otherwise not adulterated, the department will mark the carcass and parts as inspected and passed. (f) The department will not mark a carcass and parts as inspected and passed if (1) the department determines that the carcass or part is adulterated or contaminated, has a foul or sexual odor, or is diseased, and if the state veterinarian concurs with the determination made by the department; if the carcass or part is not marked as inspected and passed, the department may condemn and require the destruction of the carcass or part; or (2) a reindeer is shot in a place other than the head or neck; if a reindeer is shot in the body, the carcass must be removed from the premises and is not eligible for inspection. (g) The operator shall ensure that each field stunned reindeer is transported to the facility for post-mortem inspection in the shortest length of time practicable after being shot, to minimize the changes in the carcass that can affect the post-mortem examination, disposition, and wholesomeness of the carcass and parts. Those changes include bloating or souring due to increased meat temperature.
18 AAC 32.680. Evisceration and handling of carcasses (a) Except as provided in 18 AAC 31.820, skinning, evisceration, splitting, and trimming of reindeer must be conducted within a permitted slaughtering or processing facility. (b) When skinning the carcass, the operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) the esophagus is rodded and tied before evisceration or skinning to prevent escape of rumen contents and carcass-viscera contamination; (2) feet are removed before the carcass is otherwise cut; (3) skinning is performed using either a bed system or an on-the-rail system; (4) except for sticking the reindeer to bleed it and starting the skinning, the skin is cut from inside outward to prevent carcass contamination with cut hair or dirt; (5) the hair side of the hide is carefully rolled or reflected away from the carcass during skinning to prevent contamination to the flesh and muscle from the hide; if an on-the-rail system is used, skinning must begin with hind shank and proceed downward; (6) exposed meat does not contact floors, walls, or equipment when the carcass is moved; (7) floors, walls, and equipment in the skinning area are kept clean and, if contaminated by gut or fecal material, the floor, wall, or equipment is washed immediately and sanitized using care not to splash a carcass or processed meat; (8) the hide is pulled down or the carcass pulled up to prevent hair contamination if a mechanical hide puller is used; (9) lactating udders are removed to prevent soilage of carcasses, facilities, or equipment; however, if an area of a carcass is contaminated from lactating udders, the contaminated portion of the carcass must be trimmed immediately; contaminated facilities or equipment must be washed and sanitized immediately; (10) the penis is removed to prevent carcass contamination due to urine spillage; if a bed system is used, the penis shall be removed while the carcass is at half-hoist; (11) the brisket is opened to facilitate removal of thoracic viscera; (12) the bung is dropped as a final part of rumping; (13) the perineal skin is pulled laterally over the anus leaving the sphincter intact; (14) the cut around the bung and into the pelvic cavity is done with a clean knife; and (15) the rectum is tied to include the bladder's neck and to prevent urine and fecal leakage before evisceration. (c) When eviscerating the carcass, the operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) before carcass opening, contaminants are trimmed from the midline area of the front of the reindeer before opening the abdominal cavity; opening the abdominal cavity may not result in carcass or viscera contamination; (2) to minimize contamination, viscera removal is performed to pull or cut free abdominal viscera from the carcass without cutting or breaking the stomach or intestine; and (3) urinary bladder removal is performed without urine spillage on the carcass, viscera, or equipment. (d) When splitting the carcass, the operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) bruises, insect larvae, and other contamination are removed from the midline area of the back before splitting to prevent spreading contamination; and (2) the neck and foreshanks do not contact the floor. (e) When trimming the carcass, the operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that large blood clots and bruised tissue are removed. (f) The operator of a slaughtering facility shall ensure that all carcasses are washed (1) to remove hair, dirt, and other contaminants so that the contaminant does not contact other carcasses; and (2) from the top downward to eliminate possible contamination to clean areas of the carcass. (g) After trimming, and after the department marks the carcasses and parts as inspected and passed under 18 AAC 32.685, the carcass must be immediately removed to an area that is refrigerated to 41_ F or below. The carcasses must be spaced to facilitate rapid chilling.
18 AAC 32.685. Official mark of inspection and labeling (a) The department will place the official inspection legend brand upon carcasses and parts of carcasses that have been inspected and passed. The department will keep custody of the official inspection legend brand. (b) The department will use an official inspection legend brand that (1) is 1 3/4 inches wide by 1 1/4 inches tall; and (2) consists of the permit number issued by the department under 18 AAC 32.605 and the words "Alaska" and "Inspected & Passed," as shown in the following illustration: CLICK TO VIEW ILLUSTRATION (c) The operator shall provide ink of food-grade quality for the application of the department's official inspection legend brand. (d) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall ensure that (1) each shipping container and package of food product is labeled with a reduced-size reproduction of the official inspection legend brand; the reduced-size reproduction must be legible and in proportion to the official inspection legend brand as described in (b) of this section; however, if the whole carcass is shipped, and if the department has placed the official inspection legend brand on the carcass, the carcass may be considered the shipping container for purposes of this paragraph, and the operator is not required to label the carcass with the reduced-size reproduction; and (2) each packaged food is additionally labeled with (A) the word, "reindeer," the common name of the product, and the net weight of the product; (B) the name and address of the operator; (C) the net contents of the package by weight or measure; (D) the common and usual name of each food ingredient in order of that food ingredient's preponderance by weight in the product; spices, flavorings, and colorings may be designated without naming each one, but each artificial flavoring or chemical preservative must be specifically identified; and (E) one of the following product holding statements as necessary: (i) "KEEP FROZEN," if keeping the product frozen is required to prevent growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms or deterioration of the product; (ii) "KEEP REFRIGERATED," if keeping the product refrigerated is required to prevent growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms or deterioration of the product. (e) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility may not label a food product as "reindeer sausage" unless at least 51 percent of the meat ingredients is reindeer meat. A food product that contains at least five percent, but less than 51 percent reindeer meat must be labeled as "[product name] with reindeer meat." A food product that contains less than five percent reindeer meat may not be labeled as containing reindeer meat except in the list of ingredients.
18 AAC 32.690. Inspections (a) The department will conduct inspections to determine compliance with 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699 during usual business hours unless the department determines that conducting that inspection at a different time serves the interest of public health and consumer protection. (b) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall allow a department employee or the department's agent to inspect all portions of the facility, food products, food ingredients, processing equipment, labels, plans, and records relating to critical control points and sanitation, and all other records needed to determine compliance with 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699. (c) A person may not obstruct an inspector during an inspection. (d) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility may accompany the inspector during the inspection. (e) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall allow the department to take photographs. (f) During an inspection conducted under this section, the inspector shall record the findings on a form developed by the department. On the form, the inspector shall include a statement of the specific problem and required correction, and a time period for the correction of the violation. After reviewing the inspection results with the operator, the inspector shall leave a copy of the inspection results with the operator. (g) After an inspection in which a violation is noted, the operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall correct each violation as follows: (1) a critical violation must be corrected immediately; the operator shall cease operations until corrections have been made; (2) a violation other than a critical violation must be corrected immediately, unless the department agrees that immediate correction is not possible and that interim measures can be initiated to satisfy the purpose of the requirement and protection of public health; the department may designate a correction period of up to 30 days after the inspection on the form. (h) The operator of a slaughtering or processing facility shall notify the department, in writing, when the operator has corrected violations noted on the inspection form. The department may conduct an inspection to confirm correction. (i) The department will suspend or withdraw inspection services, or will require an inspection under 18 AAC 32.675, if the department determines that suspension or withdrawal of inspection services, or requiring an inspection serves the interests of public health and consumer protection. If the operator disputes a department determination under this subsection, the operator may request a hearing under 18 AAC 32.693(c). The department may resume inspections upon satisfactory compliance with 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699.
18 AAC 32.693. Permit suspension and facility closure (a) The department may, without prior warning, notice, or hearing, suspend a permit and require that a slaughtering or processing facility immediately stop operating if (1) an imminent health hazard exists; (2) the same type of critical violation is noted in three or more critical violation categories during a second inspection of the establishment during a 12-month period; (3) the operator or an employee interferes with a department employee in the performance of official duties; (4) a facility is placed under a boil water notice under 18 AAC 80.635 because of violations of the maximum contaminant level for coliform bacteria, and if the operator fails to take actions necessary to remedy the situation; (5) the department advises under 18 AAC 80 that one or more samples of the facility's public drinking water supply are positive for fecal coliforms; (6) the operator fails to comply with the terms of a conditional permit issued under 18 AAC 32.605(f) - (g); or (7) critical and repeated violations of a requirement of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699 occur. (b) The department may, without prior warning, notice, or hearing, issue a notice of closure to a slaughtering or processing facility and require that the facility immediately stop operating if the operator is operating without a valid permit issued by the department. (c) After suspending a permit or issuing a notice of closure, the department will provide an opportunity for a hearing as follows: (1) the operator may, in writing, request a hearing under this subsection within 10 days after receiving a notice of (A) suspension under (a) of this section; or (B) closure under (b) of this section; (2) if the department receives a timely request for a hearing under (1) of this subsection, the department will hold the hearing within 14 days after receipt of the request; (3) a hearing under this subsection is before (A) the commissioner; or (B) an individual designated by the commissioner to hear the matter and prepare a recommended decision for the commissioner's review; (4) in conducting the hearing under this subsection, the department will follow the procedures for an adjudicatory hearing in 18 AAC 15.240 - 18 AAC 15.340; in addition, (A) the burden of proof and of going forward with the evidence is upon the department; and (B) the commissioner or commissioner's designee will set the timelines for the procedures in 18 AAC 15.240 - 18 AAC 15.340 to ensure a timely hearing under (2) of this subsection; (5) after a hearing under this subsection, the commissioner or designee will affirm, modify, or set aside the suspension or closure. (d) The department may suspend a conditional permit issued under 18 AAC 32.605(f) - (g) if (1) the department determines that a suspension would serve the interests of public health or consumer protection; (2) each violation specified under 18 AAC 32.605(g)(1) is not corrected by the date indicated on the conditional permit; (3) the owner or operator does not make fee payments in compliance with a fee schedule established under 18 AAC 32.605(g)(2); or (4) drinking water plan, wastewater plans, or solid waste plans submitted as required under 18 AAC 32.605(b)(5)(D) are not approved. (e) This section does not affect a person's right to a hearing under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act).
18 AAC 32.695. Examination, detention, and destruction of food (a) The department may examine and obtain samples of food offered or displayed for sale to the public to determine compliance with 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699. Detention under this subsection is subject to the following procedures: (b) The department may detain a food product or food ingredient if the department determines, or has reasonable cause to believe, that the food product or food ingredient is adulterated, misbranded, processed or slaughtered in violation of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699. Detention under this subsection is subject to the following procedures: (1) the department will (A) order affixed in a conspicuous place to the food product or food ingredient a "detained" tag or other appropriate marking that gives notice that the food product or food ingredient has been detained, and that warns against the removal or disposal of the food product or food ingredient without permission from the department or a court; a person may not move, reprocess, relabel, destroy, or otherwise terminate detention of the food product or food ingredient without the department's written consent; (B) issue a notice of detention and inform the immediate custodian or owner of conditions under which the detention can be terminated; and (C) notify the immediate custodian or owner of the results of any laboratory analysis conducted by the department; (2) the immediate custodian or owner may request a hearing in writing within 30 days after receipt of the notice of detention; the department will hold a hearing within seven days after receipt of a request and will issue its final decision within seven days after the hearing, or within 35 days after the date of the notice of detention, whichever is later; (3) if, after issuing a notice of detention, the department determines that the food product or food ingredient is not adulterated, misbranded, processed or slaughtered in violation of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699, the department will notify the immediate custodian or owner and order the detention terminated; and (4) if the department determines that the food product or food ingredient is adulterated, misbranded, processed, or slaughtered in violation of 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699, the department will notify the immediate custodian or owner by personal service or certified mail of the corrective action necessary, which may include destruction of the food product or food ingredient.
18 AAC 32.699. Definitions for 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699 In 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699, unless the context requires otherwise, (1) "bed system" means a cradle used to support the reindeer carcass during the skinning process; (2) "brisket" means the anterior lower portion of the chest of the reindeer; (3) "bung" means the rectum or terminal portion of the intestine of the reindeer; (4) "carcass" means all parts, including viscera, of slaughtered reindeer; (5) "critical control point" means a point, step, or procedure in a slaughtering or processing facility at which control can be applied, and a food safety hazard can, as a result, be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to acceptable levels; (6) "critical violation" means (A) food unfit for human consumption; (B) potentially hazardous food that is not kept at required temperatures during storage, preparation, processing, display, service, and transportation; (C) insufficient facilities and equipment to maintain product temperatures; (D) a person working as a food handler who has a disease communicable by food; (E) employee conduct in violation of 18 AAC 32.650(a) - (b), the results of which might be a disease communicable by food; (F) food-contact surfaces of equipment or utensils that are not washed, rinsed, and sanitized effectively and that might contaminate food; (G) a water supply that (i) is not in compliance with 18 AAC 32.625; or (ii) has a cross-connection with a nonpotable supply or a back siphonage potential; (H) sewage or liquid waste not disposed of in an approved manner; (I) toilets or handsinks not installed or inaccessible; (J) insects, rodents, or other pests that are on the premises; (K) poisonous or toxic material that is improperly labeled, stored, or used; (L) a violation of a critical control point in a HACCP plan described under 18 AAC 32.660; (M) a food borne illness associated with operation of the facility; or (N) a condition or practice that affects the wholesomeness or safety of food; (7) "easily cleanable" means readily accessible and designed so that residue may be effectively removed by normal cleaning methods; (8) "evisceration" means the process of removing viscera from a carcass; (9) "extensively remodeled" means modified or improved at an expense equal to or exceeding 25 percent of the taxable value of the facility before initiation of the modification or improvement; (10) "food-contact surface" means the surface of equipment and utensils with which food or food ingredients normally comes in contact, or from which drippage, drainage, or splashback onto a surface that contacts food might occur; (11) "HACCP plan" means a written document that delineates the formal procedures for following the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Principles and Application Guidelines, by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods; the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Principles and Application Guidelines are adopted by reference in 18 AAC 32.601; (12) "hazard," with respect to food, food products, and food ingredients, has the meaning given in 18 AAC 31.990; (13) "hermetically sealed" has the meaning given in 18 AAC 31.990; (14) "inspected and passed" means determined by the department to be unadulterated, at the time a product was inspected under 18 AAC 32.600 - 18 AAC 32.699; (15) "low-acid food" has the meaning given in 18 AAC 31.990; (16) "meat" means the flesh and organs of a reindeer; (17) "midline" means the median line of the carcass; (18) "on-the-rail system" means an overhead rail from which carcasses are hung during the skinning process; (19) "potentially hazardous food" means food described in 18 AAC 31.985; (20) "ready-to-eat," with respect to food, food products, and food ingredients, has the meaning given in 18 AAC 31.990; (21) "reduced oxygen packaging" has the meaning given in 18 AAC 31.990; (22) "rodding" means positioning the looped end of a metal rod around the esophagus and pushing it through the thoracic cavity up to the diaphragm, to separate the esophagus from the trachea and lungs and permit its removal, through the diaphragm and thoracic cavity, without breaking during evisceration; (23) "rumping" means the stage in dressing a reindeer carcass on half-hoist (A) where the hide is removed from the hind legs, rump, and tail, and the bung is cut out and tied; and (B) that takes place between the skinning and the gutting operation; (24) "slaughtering or processing facility" means a facility where reindeer intended to be sold as part of commerce and intended for human consumption is slaughtered or processed; "slaughtering or processing facility" does not include a (A) food service described in 18 AAC 31.205 that accepts and processes a donation of reindeer in compliance with 18 AAC 31.205(1) - (6); (B) site described in 18 AAC 31.820(a)(1) where reindeer are slaughtered and dressed for purposes of sales in compliance with 18 AAC 31.820(a)(1) - (4); or (C) retail meat market that is permitted under 18 AAC 31 and that processes reindeer in accordance with 18 AAC 31.820(b); (25) "splitting" means to separate, cut, or divide into two or more parts; (26) "stunned" means rendered unconscious; (27) "thermally process" means to perform thermal processing as defined in 18 AAC 31.990 of food, food products, or food ingredients.
18 AAC 32.900. Waiver of provisions; waiver fee (a) Except for a fee required by 18 AAC 32.610, the department will waive a requirement of this chapter if the department finds that public health is protected and the purpose of the requirement is otherwise satisfied. (b) An application for a waiver must be submitted to the department in writing, must be accompanied by a waiver fee of $75, and must (1) identify the requirement for which the waiver is sought; (2) state the reason why the requirement cannot be met; and (3) describe the alternative method proposed to meet the purpose of the requirement and how that method will be equally protective of public health; the applicant shall include any scientific data, academic research, or other information that will assist the department in making a decision under this section. (c) The department will grant or deny a waiver application, with or without conditions, in writing within 30 working days after receiving the application.