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RULE §229.224Good Warehousing Practice

(a) Plant and grounds.

  (1) Storage and transportation of food must be under conditions that will protect food against physical, chemical, and microbial contamination as well as against deterioration of the food and the container.

  (2) Food storage facilities must be properly constructed and maintained. All walls, ceilings, and floors must be intact to preclude entry of vermin and environmental contaminants.

  (3) Doors and loading docks must be tight-fitting and kept closed at all times when not in use, or adequately screened during normal operating hours to prevent entry of rodents, birds, or other pests.

  (4) Outer premises, including trash receptacles, and non food storage areas must be kept clean and free of odors, debris, high weeds, or standing water which could harbor or attract vermin.

  (5) Adequate lighting of at least 108 lux (10 foot candles) must be provided to facilitate cleaning and inspection of food storage areas.

(b) Sanitary facilities.

  (1) Toilet Facilities. Each warehouse facility must provide employees with adequate, readily accessible toilet facilities. Toilet facilities must be kept clean and in good repair. Toilet facilities must be equipped with a hand washing sink with running water of at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit, hand cleaning agent, and single service towels or an air drying device.

  (2) Handwashing Facilities:

    (A) For warehouse facilities that have direct hand contact with food, the facility must provide hand-washing facilities separate from the toilet facilties designed to ensure that an employee's hands are not a source of contamination of food, food-contact surfaces, or food-packaging materials, by providing facilities that are adequate, convenient, and furnish running water at a suitable temperature. Facilities that utilize conventional handwashing must provide a conventional handwashing sink, hot running water of at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit, hand cleaning agent, and individual disposable towels, continuous towel system that supplies a user with a clean towel, or an air drying device.

    (B) For warehouse facilities with no direct hand contact with food, hand-washing facilities separate from toilet facilities are not required.

    (C) Wastewater must be disposed of in a manner approved by the regulatory authority.

(c) Sanitary operations.

  (1) Food including raw ingredients and finished food products must be obtained from an approved source.

  (2) All foods, including refrigerated and frozen foods, must be stored to prevent direct contact with the floor and away from walls to help prevent contamination by vermin (rodents and insects for example) and moisture, and to facilitate cleaning and inspection.

  (3) All food packaging material that are intended to come in direct contact with food must be stored to prevent direct contact with the floor.

  (4) Food storage facilities and transportation vehicles must be kept free of rodents, insects, birds, and other pests which may contaminate food which includes:

    (A) no evidence of pest activity in non-food areas;

    (B) no evidence of pest activity in food storage areas; and

    (C) no evidence of pest activity in or on food products, food packaging or food preparation utensils, equipment or devices.

  (5) Damaged, distressed, and infested foods and food packaging material must be stored in a designated "morgue area", adequately separated from undamaged foods and must be disposed of in a timely manner to preclude further contamination.

  (6) Food that can support the rapid growth of undesirable microorganisms must be held at temperatures that will prevent the food from becoming adulterated during manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding.

    (A) Time/temperature controlled for safety foods must be maintained at an internal temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

    (B) Frozen foods must be kept frozen at all times.

    (C) Shell eggs, after initial packing, must be transported and stored at the lower of 45 degrees Fahrenheit or as required by The United States Department of Agriculture.

    (D) The temperature of molluscan shellfish from the harvester through the original shellfish dealer must be maintained in accordance with 25 TAC §§241.57 - 241.60 of this title (relating to Molluscan Shellfish). Raw molluscan shellfish must be adequately iced or refrigerated at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or less during all subsequent distribution, storage, processing, and sale.

    (E) Seafood intended for wholesale distribution must comply with temperature requirements specified 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 123, Seafood Safety.

    (F) Milk received directly from a facility under the jurisdiction of the PMO must be received at an internal temperature of 45 degrees F or below. Further storage and transportation of the milk must be maintained at an internal 41 degrees or below.

  (7) During warehousing and transporting, all chemicals must be properly stored and physically separated from foods to preclude contamination.

  (8) Food storage facilities and transportation vehicles operated under the control of the facility must be kept clean and free of excessive dust, dirt, spillage, and other debris, including excess moisture.

  (9) Food transport vehicles must be operated in compliance with federal regulations pertaining to back-hauling.

  (10) Each incoming lot must be examined at the time of receipt and contaminated or adulterated foods must not be accepted.

  (11) Swollen, leaking, and/or severely dented containers of food must be segregated and promptly placed in the "morgue area" and further contamination, attraction of vermin, or sale prior to reconditioning must be prevented.

  (12) Only pesticides approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in a food warehouse and/or food processing facility may be used. Pesticides must be used only according to label directions. Rodenticides must be placed inside enclosed bait boxes or other approved receptacles. Only a licensed pesticide applicator may apply restricted use pesticides.

(d) Other provisions.

  (1) Distressed foods salvaged by the facility must be salvaged in accordance with §§229.541 - 229.555, 229.571 - 229.584, 229.601 - 229.614, and 229.631 - 229.644 of this title (relating to Regulation of Food, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Salvage Establishments and Brokers).

  (2) Food wholesalers engaged in the receipt and distribution of over-the-counter or prescription drugs must comply with §229.251 of this title (relating to Minimum Standards for Licensure).

  (3) The facility must keep accurate distribution records so that any foods found to be unfit for human consumption may be recalled expeditiously.

Source Note: The provisions of this §229.224 adopted to be effective August 2, 2017, 42 TexReg 3789

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