DATE: September 11, 2012
ACTION: Notice of Intent to Consider Amendments to the Rules relating to the Georgia Meat
Inspection Act and Poultry Processing Plants
TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES:
Pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, O.C.G.A. §§ 26-2-80 and 26-2-202, notice is hereby given that the Georgia Department of Agriculture will be considering the adoption of amendments to Departmental Rules 40-10-1-.05 and 40-10-2-.07 relating to the application for inspection and grant or refusal thereof in facilities requiring state inspection. Additionally, the Department will be looking at adopting two new rules relating to product recalls. Written comments will be accepted from September 11, 2012, to the close of business (4:30 p.m.) on October 12, 2012.
SYNOPSIS, MAIN FEATURES, AND DIFFERENCES:
The Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Meat Inspection Section operates under a cooperative agreement with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (hereinafter “FSIS”) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As part of the cooperative agreement, the Department must enforce rules and regulations that are at least equal to those imposed under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, 21 U.S.C. §§ 601, et seq.
In order to maintain consistency with current updates promulgated by FSIS, more specifically FSIS amendments to 9 C.F.R. Subparts 304.3 and 381.22, the Department is proposing to amend Rules 40-10-1-.05 and 40-10-2-.07 entitled “Application for Inspection; Grant or Refusal of Inspection.” The amendments require that before inspection is granted, each official establishment must develop: (1) a written “Sanitation Standard Operating Procedure” or SSOP for sanitation; (2) a written procedure for “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points” or HACCP plan; and (3) a written procedure for dealing with recalls or recalled product.
In conjunction with the above proposed change, it is further proposed to adopt new Departmental Rules 40-10-1-.26 and 40-10-2-.18, entitled “Recalls.” These rules would require each official establishment to notify the Meat Inspection Section’s Administrative Office of any adulterated or misbranded meat, meat food product, poultry, or poultry food product received by or originating from the official establishment that has entered commerce. Notification must be made with 24 hours.
The proposed rules would further require each official establishment to prepare and maintain written procedures for the recall of meat, meat food products, poultry, and poultry food products produced and shipped by the official establishment. Said written procedures must specify how the official establishment will decide whether to conduct a product recall and if the establishment decides a recall is necessary, the written procedures must describe how the establishment will conduct the recall. All records and procedures must be made available to Georgia Meat Inspection Section personnel for review and copying. These changes are being made to maintain uniformity with 9 C.F.R. Part 418.
COMMENT PERIOD AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
The Department will be accepting written comments from September 11, 2012, to the close of business (4:30 p.m.) 0n October 12, 2012. Comments will be considered on October 15, 2012. Please submit written comments to:
Glen Echols, Director
Meat Inspection Section
Georgia Department of Agriculture
19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Room 108
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Telephone: (404) 656-3673
You may download a copy of the synopsis and the proposed rules from the Georgia Department of Agriculture website at www.agr.georgia.gov.
This notice is given in accordance with the Georgia Administrative Procedures Act, O.C.G.A. 50-13-4.