Md. Code Regs. - Sanitation Inspection Standards for a Plant

Current through Register Vol. 48, No. 26, December 17, 2021

A plant shall meet the sanitation inspection standards set forth in this regulation:

A. Floor-Construction.
(1) The floor of each room in which product containers, utensils, equipment, milk, or cheese products are handled, processed, packaged, stored, or washed shall be:
(a) Constructed of concrete or other equally impervious and easily cleanable material; and
(b) Smooth, properly sloped, provided with trapped drains, and kept in good repair.
(2) Floor drains are not required in cold storage rooms used for storing milk and cheese products when the floor is sloped to drain to one or more exits.
(3) A storage room for storing dry ingredients, packaged dry ingredients, and packaging materials may have:
(a) Floor drains; and
(b) Floors constructed of tightly joined wood.
B. Wall and Ceiling-Construction. The wall and ceiling of each room in which milk or cheese products is handled, processed, packaged, or stored shall:
(1) Have a smooth, washable, light colored surface; and
(2) Be in good repair.
C. Door and Window.
(1) The plant shall provide effective means to prevent access by insects and rodents.
(2) An opening to the outside shall:
(a) Have solid doors or glazed windows; and
(b) Be closed during weather conditions that may result in particulate matter entering the facility.
D. Lighting and Ventilation. Each room shall be well lit and well ventilated where:
(1) Milk and cheese products are:
(a) Handled;
(b) Processed;
(c) Packaged; or
(d) Stored; or
(2) Milk containers, utensils, and equipment are washed.
E. Separate Room.
(1) There shall be a separate room for:
(a) Receiving farmstead cheese;
(b) Processing farmstead cheese;
(c) Cooling farmstead cheese;
(d) Aging farmstead cheese;
(e) Packaging farmstead cheese; and
(f) Cleaning raw milk cans and containers brought in from the farm.
(2) A room may not open directly into a stable or room used for a domestic purpose where:
(a) Milk or a farmstead cheese product is:
(i) Received;
(ii) Handled;
(iii) Processed;
(iv) Stored; or
(v) Packaged; or
(b) Containers, utensils, or equipment are washed or stored.
(3) A room shall be of sufficient size for their intended purposes.
(4) Each designated area or room shall be provided for receiving, handling, and storage of a returned packaged or farmstead cheese not suitable for sale.
F. Toilet Sewage Disposal Facility.
(1) Each toilet facility shall conform to the regulations of the local health department.
(2) Each toilet facility may not open directly into a room where milk or cheese products are processed.
(3) Each toilet facility shall be completely enclosed and have a tight fitting, self-closing door.
(4) Each dressing room, toilet room, and fixture shall be:
(a) Kept in a clean condition;
(b) Kept in good repair;
(c) Well ventilated; and
(d) Well lit.
(5) Sewage and other liquid waste shall be disposed of in a sanitary manner.
G. Water Supply. Water for plant purposes shall be:
(1) From a supply properly located, protected, and operated;
(2) Easily accessible;
(3) Adequate; and
(4) Of a safe, sanitary quality.
H. Handwashing Facility. A hand washing facility shall:
(1) Provide:
(a) Either:
(i) Hot and cold running water; or
(ii) Warm running water;
(b) Soap; and
(c) Individual sanitary towels.
(2) Be kept in a clean condition and in good repair.
I. Plant Cleanliness.
(1) A room shall be kept clean, neat, and free of evidence of insects and rodents where:
(a) Milk and a farmstead cheese product is:
(i) Handled;
(ii) Processed; or
(iii) Stored; or
(b) Containers, utensils, or equipment are washed or stored.
(2) Only equipment directly related to processing operations or the handling of containers, utensils, and equipment shall be permitted in a room where:
(a) Receiving;
(b) Processing;
(c) Cooling;
(d) Aging;
(e) Packaging;
(f) Bulk milk is stored; or
(g) A cheese product is stored.
J. Sanitary Piping.
(1) The material of a sanitary piping fitting and connection exposed to milk, cheese products, or liquids drawn into milk and cheese products shall be:
(a) Smooth;
(b) Impervious;
(c) Corrosion resistant;
(d) Nontoxic;
(e) Easy cleanable; and
(f) An approved surface for food product contact.
(2) All piping shall be in good repair.
K. Construction and Repair of Containers and Equipment.
(1) A multiuse container and equipment that milk and a farmstead cheese product comes into contact with shall be:
(a) Constructed of smooth, impervious, corrosion resistant, and nontoxic material;
(b) Constructed for ease of cleaning; and
(c) Maintained in good repair.
(2) A single service container, closure, gasket, and other article that milk and a farmstead cheese product come in contact with shall be:
(a) Nontoxic; and
(b) Manufactured, packaged, transported, and handled in a sanitary manner.
(3) Articles intended for single service use may not be reused.
L. Clean and Sanitation of Containers and Equipment.
(1) The contact surface of a multiuse container, utensil, and equipment used in the farmstead cheese process from receiving through packaging shall, before each use, be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
(2) Sanitization:
(a) May not adversely affect the equipment, the milk or milk product, or the health of consumers; and
(b) Shall be acceptable to the Department.
(3) A cloth used for cheese making shall be cleaned and sanitized at intervals, and in accordance with the Department.
M. Storage of Cleaned Containers and Equipment. After cleaning, a multiuse milk or farmstead cheese product container, utensil, and equipment shall be:
(1) Transported and stored to assure complete drainage; and
(2) Protected from contamination before use.
N. Storage of Single Service Containers, Utensils, and Materials. A wrap, liner, bag, container, gasket, and other single service article in contact with milk and a farmstead cheese product shall be:
(1) Purchased and stored in a sanitary tube, wrapping, or carton;
(2) Kept in a clean, dry place until used; and
(3) Handled in a sanitary manner.
O. Protection from Contamination.
(1) The facility, plant operation, and equipment shall be located and used in a manner to prevent contamination of a milk and farmstead cheese product, ingredient, container, utensil, and equipment.
(2) A milk or a farmstead cheese product ingredient shall be discarded if:
(a) Spilt;
(b) Overflowing;
(c) Leaking; or
(d) Dropped or has fallen onto an unsanitized contact surface or nonproduct contact surface.
(3) The processing or handling of a product other than milk or a farmstead cheese product in the plant, shall be performed to preclude the contamination of such milk and farmstead cheese products.
(4) The storage, handling, and use of a poisonous or toxic material shall be performed to preclude the contamination of:
(a) A milk and a farmstead cheese product;
(b) An ingredient of milk and a farmstead cheese product; or
(c) The product contact surface of a container, utensil, and equipment.
P. Cross Contamination.
(1) During processing, a pipeline and equipment used to contain or conduct milk and a farmstead cheese product shall be effectively separated from each tank or circuit containing cleaning or sanitizing solutions.
(2) Separation shall be accomplished by:
(a) Physically disconnecting a connection point between each tank or circuit containing a cleaning or sanitizing solution from a pipeline and equipment used to contain or conduct a milk or farmstead cheese product; or
(b) A method approved by the Department.
(3) The farmstead cheese processor shall provide a means to prevent contamination of milk and a farmstead cheese product, container, utensil, and equipment from dripping, spillage, and splash from an overhead piping, platform, or mezzanine.
(4) A product that may create a public health hazard may not be handled in the plant.
(5) Permission to handle a product other than farmstead cheese or to conduct an operation in equipment or a room, other than those designated, shall be provisional and subject to revocation if found objectionable.
Q. Raw Milk Cooling and Farmstead Cheese Processing.
(1) Raw milk shall be maintained at 7°C (45°F) or less until processed.
(2) Farmstead cheese shall meet the definition of a hard cheese as found in 21 CFR 133.150 which states hard cheese:
(a) Contains not more than 39 percent of moisture; and
(b) Solids contain not less than 50 percent of milk fat, as determined by the methods prescribed in 21 CFR 133.5(a), (b), and (d).
(3) Farmstead cheese shall be cured at a temperature of not less than 35 F for not less than 60 days.
R. Personnel Sanitation.
(1) An individual shall wash their hands thoroughly before commencing a plant function and as often as may be required to remove soil and contamination.
(2) An employee may not resume work after visiting the toilet room without thoroughly washing their hands.
(3) An individual shall wear clean outer garments while engaged in the:
(a) Handling of raw milk and ingredients;
(b) Processing of a farmstead cheese product;
(c) Storage of a farmstead cheese product;
(d) Transportation of a farmstead cheese product;
(e) Packaging of a farmstead cheese product; and
(f) Handling of a container, utensil, and equipment.
(4) An individual, while engaged in the processing of milk or a farmstead cheese product, shall:
(a) Wear an adequate hair covering;
(b) Abstain from tobacco use;
(c) Wear clean and sanitized footwear;
(d) Maintain trim and clean fingernails and not wear false fingernails; and
(e) Abstain from any activity that may contaminate food.
(5) The farmstead cheese processor shall ensure that education and training is provided to an employee in:
(a) Food processing and handling;
(b) Personal hygiene; and
(c) Plant sanitation.
S. Vehicles.
(1) A vehicle used for the transportation of raw milk and a farmstead cheese product shall be constructed and operated so that the milk and the farmstead cheese product is maintained at 7°C (45°F) or less and is protected from contamination.
(2) A vehicle used to transport milk and a farmstead cheese product may not be used to transport or contain a substance that may be toxic or harmful to humans.
T. Surroundings. Plant surroundings shall be kept neat, clean, and free from conditions which:
(1) Attract or harbor flies, other insects, or rodents; or
(2) Otherwise constitute a nuisance.


Md. Code Regs.
Regulation .07 adopted effective 43:6 Md. R. 407, eff.3/28/2016

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