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RULE §221.14Custom Exempt Slaughter and Processing; Low-Volume Poultry or Rabbit Slaughter Operations

    (E) If the custom processing establishment also maintains a retail meat outlet, separate records, as listed in subparagraph (D) of this paragraph, shall be maintained for each type of business conducted at the establishment.

    (F) Temperature monitoring records shall be maintained by the custom processor, for heat treated or ready-to-eat products. These records shall include the temperature attained and time held during heating and the time and temperatures during the cool down process.

  (3) Sanitary methods. Custom processing establishments shall be maintained in sanitary condition. Each custom processing establishment shall comply with the requirements of 9 CFR, Part 416, adopted under §221.11 of this title.

  (4) Containers used for product; paper or other materials in contact with product.

    (A) To avoid contamination of product, containers shall be lined with suitable material of good quality before packing.

    (B) Containers and trucks, or other means of conveyance in which any product is transported to the owner shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

    (C) Boxes and any containers used as tote boxes shall be clean and stored off the floor in a manner that does not interfere with good sanitation.

  (5) Tagging insanitary equipment, utensils, rooms, and carcasses.

    (A) A department representative may attach a "Texas Rejected" tag to any equipment, utensil, room, or compartment at a custom processing establishment that a department representative determines is insanitary and is a health hazard. No equipment, utensil, room, or compartment so tagged shall again be used until untagged or released by a department representative. Such tag so attached shall not be removed by anyone other than a department representative.

    (B) A department representative that determines a carcass is adulterated, unfit for human food, is from an unhealthy or unsound animal, or may be a health hazard, may attach a "Texas Retained" tag to the carcass and document the reason for attaching the tag on a form specified by the department and deliver the form to the operator of the establishment. The owner of the carcass shall be notified by the plant operator and advised of the potential health risk. The custom processor shall ensure that the owner of the carcass or parts either authorizes the voluntary destruction and denaturing of the carcass and all parts or agrees to remove the carcass from the custom processing establishment. Under no circumstances may the carcass be further processed at the establishment.

  (6) Death by other means than slaughter. Carcasses, or parts thereof, derived from animals that have died otherwise than by slaughter. This includes animals, such as roadkill or animals that have died by disease, trauma, or other accident, may not enter, or be processed by a granted establishment.

  (7) Marking and labeling of custom prepared products.

    (A) Products that are custom prepared must be packaged immediately after preparation and must be labeled with the term "Not For Sale" in lettering not less than three-eighths inch in height. Such custom prepared products or their containers shall also bear the owner's name and any additional labeling such as product cut or description.

    (B) Safe handling instructions shall accompany every customer's raw or not fully cooked products. The information shall be in lettering no smaller than one-sixteenth of an inch in size and may be placed on each product package, each tote box or bag containing packaged product, or given as a flyer to the customer with the product. The safe handling instructions shall be placed immediately after the heading in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and shall include the following or similar statements.

      (i) "Some meat and meat products may contain bacteria that could cause illness if the product is mishandled or cooked improperly. For your protection, follow these safe handling instructions."

      (ii) "Meat and poultry must be kept refrigerated or frozen. Thaw in refrigerator or microwave." However, any portion of this statement that is in conflict with the product's specific handling instructions may be omitted, e.g., instructions to cook without thawing. A graphic illustration of a refrigerator may be displayed next to this statement.

      (iii) "Raw meat and poultry must be kept separate from other foods. Wash working surfaces including cutting boards, utensils, and hands after touching raw meat or poultry." A graphic illustration of soapy hands under a faucet may be displayed next to this statement.

      (iv) "Meat and poultry must be cooked thoroughly. Ground meat products should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or until the juices run clear. Other meat products should be cooked so that the external temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit." A graphic illustration of a skillet may be displayed next to this statement.

      (v) "Hot foods must be kept hot. Refrigerate leftovers immediately or discard." A graphic illustration of a thermometer may be displayed next to the statement.

  (8) Requirements concerning procedures.

    (A) Uninspected heads from custom slaughtered animals may not be sold or used in the preparation of meat food products unless prepared specifically for the owner of the animal for his personal use.

    (B) Heads for use in the preparation of meat food products shall be split and the bodies of the teeth, the turbinates and ethmoid bones, ear tubes, and horn butts removed, and the heads then thoroughly cleaned.

    (C) Bones and parts of bones shall be removed from product which is intended for chopping or grinding.

    (D) Kidneys for use in the preparation of meat food products shall first be freely sectioned and then thoroughly soaked and washed.

    (E) Clotted blood shall be removed from livestock hearts before they are used in the preparation of meat food products.

    (F) Product shall not be adulterated as defined in §221.12(b)(2) of this title when placed in coolers or freezers.

    (G) Frozen product may be defrosted in water or pickle in a manner that is not conducive to promoting bacterial growth or resulting in adulteration of the product.

  (9) Requirements concerning ingredients.

    (A) All ingredients and other articles used in the preparation of any product shall be clean, sound, healthful, wholesome, and otherwise such as to not result in adulteration of product. A letter of guaranty from the manufacturer stating that the ingredient or article is safe when used as an ingredient or in contact with food shall be obtained by the custom processor and made available upon request to the department representative.

    (B) Ingredients for use in any product may not contain any pesticide chemical or other residues in excess of levels permitted under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

  (10) Approval of substances for use.

    (A) No substance may be used in the preparation of any product unless it is a Food and Drug Administration approved food additive.

    (B) No product shall contain any substance which would render it adulterated.

    (C) Nitrates shall not be used in curing bacon.

      (i) Nitrites in the form of sodium nitrite may be used at 120 parts per million (ppm) ingoing (or in the form of potassium nitrite at 148 ppm ingoing) maximum for injected, massaged, or immersion cured bacon; and 550 ppm of sodium ascorbate or sodium erythorbate (isoascorbate) for injected, massaged, or immersion cured bacon shall be used.

      (ii) Sodium or potassium nitrite may be used at 2 pounds to 100 gallons pickle at 10% pump level; 1 ounce to 100 pounds meat (dry cure).

      (iii) Sodium ascorbate or sodium erythorbate (isoascorbate) may be used at 87.5 ounces to 100 gallons pickle at 10% pump level; 7/8 ounces to 100 pounds meat; or 10% solution to surfaces of cut meat.

      (iv) Sodium nitrite shall not exceed 200 ppm ingoing or an equivalent amount of potassium nitrite (246 ppm ingoing) in dry cured bacon based on the actual or estimated skin-free green weight of the bacon belly.

    (D) When curing products other than bacon, nitrites, nitrates, or combination shall not result in more than 200 ppm of nitrite in the finished product.

      (i) Sodium or potassium nitrite may be used at 2 pounds to 100 gallons pickle at 10% pump level; 1 ounce to 100 pounds meat (dry cure); or 1/4 ounce to 100 pounds chopped meat and/or meat byproduct.

      (ii) Sodium or potassium nitrate may be used at 7 pounds to 100 gallons pickle; 3 1/2 ounce to 100 pounds meat (dry cure); or 2 3/4 ounce to 100 pounds chopped meat. (Nitrates may not be used in bacon.)

  (11) Prescribed treatment of heat-treated meat and poultry products.

    (A) All forms of fresh meat and poultry, including fresh unsmoked sausage and pork such as bacon and jowls are classified as products that are customarily well cooked in the home before being consumed. Therefore, the treatment of such products for the destruction of pathogens is not required.

    (B) Meat and poultry products, that are not customarily cooked or may not be cooked before consumption because they have the appearance of being fully cooked, must not contain pathogens.

      (i) Heat-treated products and dry, semi-dry, and fermented sausages, that are less than three inches in diameter, are required to be heated to an internal temperature according to the following chart:

Attached Graphic

      (ii) Heat treated products and dry, semi-dry, and fermented sausages, that are more than three inches in diameter, are required to be heated to an internal temperature according to the following chart:

Attached Graphic

      (iii) Heat treated products that must be stored under refrigerated temperatures must be cooled quickly to prevent bacterial growth. During cooling, the product's maximum internal temperature should not remain between 130 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 1 1/2 hours nor between 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 5 hours. Custom processors may slowly cool cured products in accordance with Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) Directive 7110.3, Time/Temperature Guidelines for Cooling Heated Products, which may be viewed at www.fsis.usda.gov, or other substantiated support.

      (iv) Custom processors not utilizing a heating step as described in clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of this subparagraph must submit an alternate procedure, describing the method utilized in determining safety, to a department representative.

      (v) Custom processors may produce heat-treated or ready-to-eat custom products, including chorizo, at temperatures other than those listed in clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of this subparagraph when requested to do so by the owner of the product. The custom processor must obtain a signed statement from the owner of the product stating that the risks associated with eating under-cooked meat products are understood.

    (C) When necessary to comply with the requirements of this section, the smokehouses, drying rooms, and other compartments used in the treatment of meat and poultry products to destroy pathogens shall be suitably equipped, by the operator of the custom processing establishment with accurate automatic recording thermometers.

  (12) Denaturing procedures. Carcasses, parts thereof, meat and meat food products that are adulterated and/or not returned to the owner shall be adequately denatured or decharacterized to preclude their use as human food. Before the denaturing agents are applied, carcasses and carcass parts shall be freely slashed or sectioned. The denaturing agent must be mixed with all of the carcasses or carcass parts to be denatured, and must be applied in such quantity and manner that it cannot easily and readily be removed by washing or soaking. A sufficient amount of the appropriate agent shall be used to give the material a distinctive color, odor, or taste so that such material cannot be confused with an article of human food.

(c) Low-volume poultry or rabbit slaughter operations requirements.

  (1) Animals for slaughter. No adulterated poultry or rabbits as defined in §221.12(b)(2) of this title shall be slaughtered for the purpose of selling its carcass or parts for food. Only healthy poultry and rabbits, exhibiting no abnormalities, may be slaughtered for sale as food. Unhealthy or unsound poultry and rabbits are those that exhibit any condition that is not normally expected to be exhibited in a healthy and sound member of that species. Examples of abnormal or unsound animals include animals that are not able to get up, or animals that have any swellings, rectal or vaginal prolapse, ocular or nasal discharge, a cough, or a limp.

  (2) Record keeping.

    (A) Operators of facilities conducting slaughter under a Poultry or Rabbit Exemption shall keep records such as bills of sale, invoices, bills of lading, and receiving and shipping papers for transactions in which any livestock or carcass, meat or meat food product is purchased, sold, shipped, received, transported or otherwise handled for a period of two years, beginning on January 1 of the previous year plus the current year to date.


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