9 CFR § 307.4 - Schedule of operations.

§ 307.4 Schedule of operations.

(a) No operations requiring inspection shall be conducted except under the supervision of a Program employee. All slaughtering of animals and preparation of products shall be done with reasonable speed, considering the official establishment's facilities.

(b) A shift is a regularly scheduled operating period, exclusive of mealtime. One lunch period is the only official authorized interruption in the inspector's tour of duty once it begins. Lunch periods may be 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or in any case may not exceed one hour in duration. Once established, the lunch period must remain relatively constant as to time and duration. Lunch periods for inspectors shall not, except as provided herein, occur prior to 4 hours after the beginning of scheduled operations nor later than 5 hours after operations begin. In plants where a company rest break of not less than 30 minutes is regularly observed, approximately midpoint between start of work and the lunch period, and the inspector is allowed this time to meet his personal needs, the lunch period may be scheduled as long as 5 1/2 hours after the beginning of scheduled operations.

(c) Official establishments, importers, and exporters shall be provided inspection service, without charge, up to 8 consecutive hours per shift during the basic workweek subject to the provisions of § 307.5: Provided, That any additional shifts meet requirements as determined by the Administrator or his designee. The basic workweek shall consist of 5 consecutive 8-hour days within the administrative workweek Sunday through Saturday, except that, when possible, the Department shall schedule the basic workweek so as to consist of 5 consecutive 8-hour days Monday through Friday. The 8-hour day excludes the lunch period but shall include activities deemed necessary by the Agency to fully carry out an inspection program, including the time for FSIS inspection program personnel to put on required gear and to walk to a work station; to prepare the work station; to return from a work station and remove required gear; to sharpen knives, if necessary; and to conduct duties scheduled by FSIS, including administrative duties. The Department may depart from the basic workweek in those cases where maintaining such a schedule would seriously handicap the Department in carrying out its function. These provisions are applicable to all official establishments except in certain cases as provided in § 318.4(h) of this subchapter.


(1) Each official establishment shall submit a work schedule to the area supervisor for approval. In consideration of whether the approval of an establishment work schedule shall be given, the area supervisor shall take into account the efficient and effective use of inspection personnel. The work schedule must specify daily clock hours of operation and lunch periods for all departments of the establishment requiring inspection.

(2) Establishments shall maintain consistent work schedules. Any request by an establishment for a change in its work schedule involving an addition or elimination of shifts shall be submitted to the area supervisor at least 2 weeks in advance of the proposed change. Frequent requests for change shall not be approved: Provided, however, minor deviations from a daily operating schedule may be approved by the inspector in charge, if such request is received on the day preceding the day of change.

(3) Request for inspection service outside an approved work schedule shall be made as early in the day as possible for overtime work to be performed within that same workday; or made prior to the end of the day's operation when such a request will result in overtime service at the start of the following day: Provided, That an inspector may be recalled to his assignment after completion of his daily tour of duty under the provisions of § 307.6(b).

[40 FR 45799, Oct. 3, 1975, as amended at 40 FR 50719, Oct. 31, 1975; 41 FR 15401, Apr. 13, 1976; 48 FR 6893, Feb. 16, 1983; 51 FR 32304, Sept. 11, 1986; 76 FR 33980, June 10, 2011; 77 FR 59294, Sept. 27, 2012]