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Chapter 16-19 WAC

Last Update: 8/6/20


WAC Sections

HTMLPDF16-19-015Further definitions.
HTMLPDF16-19-020Requirements for sanitary operations.
HTMLPDF16-19-030Licensing expiration date-late fee.
HTMLPDF16-19-100Additional requirements for sanitary operations of custom farm slaughtering.
HTMLPDF16-19-110Custom farm slaughtering—Special slaughter conditions.
HTMLPDF16-19-120Custom farm slaughtering—Signs.
HTMLPDF16-19-130Custom farm slaughtering—Identification of carcass and parts of carcasses.
HTMLPDF16-19-140Custom farm slaughtering—Reporting of activities.
HTMLPDF16-19-200Additional requirements for sanitary operation of custom slaughtering establishments.
HTMLPDF16-19-210Requirements for assignment, stamping, recordkeeping and condemnation of meat.
HTMLPDF16-19-300Additional requirements for sanitary operations of custom meat facilities.
HTMLPDF16-19-310Proof of ownership of uninspected carcasses or parts of carcasses.
HTMLPDF16-19-320Labeling and packaging requirements.
HTMLPDF16-19-330Requirements for preparation and storage of meat and meat food products.



Definitions in chapter 16.49 RCW, Custom slaughtering, apply to this chapter.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-010, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Further definitions.

The following definitions apply in this chapter.
(1) "Carcass" means all or any parts, including viscera, of a slaughtered animal capable of being used for human food.
(2) "Equipment" means all machinery, fixtures, containers, vessels, tools, implements, and apparatus used in and around a custom slaughtering or meat handling establishment, and vehicles used to transport meat.
(3) "Meat" means the carcass, parts of carcass, meat and meat food products derived in whole or in part from meat food animals.
(4) "Meat by-product" means any edible part other than meat that has been derived from one or more meat food animals.
(5) "Meat food bird" for the purposes of processing the carcass shall mean a ratite weighing over one hundred pounds live weight. Ratites weighing less than one hundred pounds live weight may be processed either as poultry or as a "meat food bird."
(6) "Meat handling establishment" means any place of business where uninspected meat is stored, frozen, cut, wrapped, or otherwise prepared.
(7) "Identifying" means marking, stamping or tagging each half, quarter, and edible part of slaughtered food animal carcasses in a manner approved by the director, for the purpose of tracing such part to the person doing the slaughtering.
(8) "Operator" includes any owner, lessee, or manager of a custom slaughtering or meat handling establishment.
(9) "Prepared" means canned, salted, rendered, boned, cut up or otherwise manufactured, or processed.
(10) "Prepackaged inspected meat" means any inspected meat or meat food product prepared from inspected meat processed or prepared by establishments subject to inspection under a federal meat inspection act and packaged and sealed in a container or wrapping bearing the mark of federal inspection.
(11) "Unwholesome" includes meat products that may be diseased, contaminated, putrid, unsound, unhealthful, or otherwise unfit for slaughter for any reason that would make them unfit for human food.
(12) "Sanitize" means use of an effective bactericidal treatment process that provides enough accumulated heat or concentration of chemicals for a period of time sufficient to reduce the bacterial count, including pathogens, to a safe level.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-015, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Requirements for sanitary operations.

Requirements for sanitary operations of custom farm slaughtering, custom slaughtering establishments, and custom meat facilities are found in Title 21 C.F.R. Part 110-Current good manufacturing practice in manufacturing, packing or holding human food. These rules have been adopted in WAC 16-167-050 (2)(k) and are available from the department on request.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-020, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Licensing expiration date-late fee.

Licenses for custom farm slaughterers, custom slaughtering establishments, and custom meat facilities issued under RCW 16.49.440 shall expire on June 30 of each year. A late fee will be charged if the application for renewal is not received prior to July 1 of each year.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-030, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Additional requirements for sanitary operations of custom farm slaughtering.

Mobile custom farm slaughtering units must have:
(1) A van body completely covering the unit, but which may exclude the driver's cab and the hoist. The van body must be made of material that is nonporous and impervious to moisture. Wood may be used only as internal framing or spacing material between double nonwooden walls. The van body must be constructed so that it excludes dust, dirt and insects. The construction must be smooth, durable and easily cleanable inside and out.
(a) All vans must have the joints at junctions of internal facing surfaces and panels sealed and waterproof. Metal joints must be smooth and splatter free. If metal is used, only stainless steel, galvanized steel, aluminum in good condition or other materials approved by the director may be used. Any insulation used must be of a type that does not absorb water.
(b) Minimum interior dimensions of the van, exclusive of room taken up by tanks and other mounted equipment must be:
(i) Height - Six feet.
(ii) Length - Six feet.
(iii) Width - (When using single center rail for hanging carcass) four feet.
(iv) Width - (When using two rails for hanging carcasses) six feet.
(2) A hoist of 2,000 pound capacity, capable of lifting a beef carcass to a height that enables the carcass to clear the ground for bleeding and evisceration. This hoist must extend outward from the truck body. If a beef spreader is included as part of the equipment it must be of suitable construction.
(3) A sterilizing tank constructed of smooth, cleanable, impervious and durable material, large enough to allow complete sanitizing of tools used in the slaughter operation. This sterilizing unit must be filled during all slaughter operations, with potable water maintained at a temperature of at least 180°F. An approved cold sterilant may be used if sufficient hot water is available for preliminary cleaning of contaminated equipment prior to sterilizing.
(4) A water tank built into the vehicle constructed of smooth, cleanable, impervious and durable material with a minimum capacity of forty gallons. No slaughtering operation may be commenced unless at least twenty gallons is available. Water must be delivered to the outlets at a pressure of at least forty pounds per square inch. One hose connection from tank and hose with nozzle must be provided to wash down carcasses. The water system must be maintained to a sanitary condition and be used only for potable water.
(5) Soap and paper towels must be available for washing hands and equipment.
(6) Outer garments worn by persons handling meat must be clean.
(7) All tools and equipment must be thoroughly washed and sanitized after each day's operation. They must be washed and sanitized if contaminated with viscera contents, abscesses, or foreign material during slaughtering operations.
(8) Meat food animals or meat food bird carcasses must not be transported in the mobile slaughter unit unless each carcass is hung so that it does not touch the floor except for beef carcasses that are dressed with the hide on and are to be delivered to a processing plant within two hours for completion of the dressing procedure. Carcasses with the hide on must be secured and placed in the mobile unit in a manner that prevents contact of hide with bare meat surfaces. Surfaces of the mobile unit that have been contaminated by contact with the hide must be cleaned and sanitized before subsequent carcasses are hauled.
(9) Edible offal must be transported in clean, covered, properly identified containers constructed of approved materials.
(10) No animals other than scalded and dehaired hogs, and defeathered meat food birds, and carcasses exempted under subsection (8) of this section may be dressed and transported with the hide on.
(11) Viscera of all meat food animals and meat food birds must be separated from the carcass at the time of slaughter on the premises where the animal is slaughtered. Feet must be removed from all meat food animals, except hogs, when scalded, and the head shall be removed from beef on the premises where it is slaughtered. Feet and metatarsus must be removed from meat food birds.
(12) All material produced through the slaughter activity, such as inedible offal and hide that may cause the slaughter area to become insanitary, must immediately upon completion of actual slaughter of the animal, be removed from the slaughtering area and disposed of in a sanitary manner. This is the licensee's responsibility.
(13) Meat food birds may be slaughtered by a custom farm slaughterer or custom slaughter establishment but not by a licensed custom poultry processor without prior approval by the director.
(14) Inedible offal may be only transported by a mobile custom slaughtering establishment under the following conditions:
(a) In a covered, watertight trailer constructed of smooth, cleanable, nonpervious material and maintained in a sanitary condition at all times; or
(b) In approved sanitary containers, in a separate compartment, in the van body. The compartment must be metal lined. There must be no openings from this compartment to the portion of the van used to transport edible products. All inedible offal containers, such as barrels or tubs, must be tightly covered and made of smooth, cleanable and nonpervious materials.
(15) A custom farm slaughterer may slaughter his or her own animal for his or her own consumption on any premises, farm or ranch, owned, rented or in any way controlled by him or her. No other animal may be slaughtered by the licensee on the premises, farm or ranch, owned, rented or in any way controlled by him or her or by members of his or her immediate family. Licensees under this section may slaughter more than one animal only if the animals have been in his or her possession more than sixty days.
(16) Whenever a licensee has reason to believe that a meat food animal or meat food product is unwholesome as defined in these rules, he or she must require an examination and declaration of wholesomeness by a licensed veterinarian before proceeding with slaughter or with processing of the carcass.
(17) Meat food birds must be slaughtered in a custom farm slaughterer mobile unit unless they are delivered to a custom slaughtering establishment.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-100, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Custom farm slaughtering—Special slaughter conditions.

A custom farm slaughterer may slaughter an animal only on the premises of the present or first preceding owner of such animal, except as follows:
(1) An animal injured to such extent that immediate slaughter at the place of injury is necessary for humane reasons.
(2) Animals purchased for custom slaughter at any 4-H and FFA market stock sales and open class carcass contests where ownership of the carcass is retained by the entrant may be slaughtered by a custom farm slaughterer on any premise. The premises must be approved in advance by the local health district/department and the department. The fair representative must request approval for each operator they plan on using by submitting an application for special slaughter conditions to the department at least thirty days before any such slaughter is to be done.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-110, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Custom farm slaughtering—Signs.

Each custom farm slaughterer's mobile unit must be conspicuously identified with letters and numbers at least three inches high by the words Washington license or abbreviation Wa. Lic. and bear the license number issued by the department to the licensee.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-120, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Custom farm slaughtering—Identification of carcass and parts of carcasses.

Carcasses or parts of carcasses processed by a custom farm slaughterer must be identified in the following manner:
(1) Each operator must obtain from the department prior to slaughtering an animal, an approved tagging device for identifying each carcass slaughtered.
(2) Each carcass slaughtered by the licensee must have affixed to each quarter, or side, prior to departure from the slaughtering site, the department approved identifying tag. At the time of tagging the licensee must complete the attached "custom slaughter report certificate of permit," giving the name and address of the owner; the signature of the owner or agent; name of consignee if applicable; the date of slaughter and the slaughterer’s license number; the species of animal slaughtered and the brand, if any; and the license number of the custom farm slaughtering unit if the meat is to be delivered for processing. Edible offal delivered to a custom meat facility must be stamped "not for sale" upon arrival.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-130, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Custom farm slaughtering—Reporting of activities.

(1) Each custom farm slaughterer must send the department a completed custom slaughter certificate of permit report for each animal processed the previous month no later than the 20th of each month.
(2) Custom slaughter certificate of permit reports accumulated between reporting periods must be kept on file at the licensee's principal place of business and be made available to the department on request.
(3) Failure to maintain or submit reports as required, or the making of fraudulent reports, constitutes grounds for suspension or revocation of an establishment's or slaughterer's license.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-140, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Additional requirements for sanitary operation of custom slaughtering establishments.

Custom slaughtering establishments must have:
(1) Hot water of sufficient temperature in sufficient quantity to thoroughly clean and sanitize all equipment subject to contamination from dressing or handling of diseased carcasses. For the purpose of this section "sufficient temperature" means at least 160°F for cleaning purposes and 180°F for purposes of sanitizing. If an approved chemical sanitizing agent is used in the sanitizing step, a temperature of 160°F is considered adequate.
(2) Properly located sanitizing facilities of approved construction and of sufficient size for complete immersion of butcher tools, and other implements must be provided in the slaughter room and at any other place where the operation is likely to result in the contamination of such equipment and utensils. Such receptacles must have means of heating the water contained therein to 180°F and maintaining it at that temperature during the entire operation. The sanitizers must be designed so that they can be drained after each day's use.
(3) Inedible and condemned storage and handling facilities.
(a) Adequate facilities for sanitary handling and storage of inedible offal and for sanitizing equipment in which inedible materials were transported must be provided, including one or more properly located enclosed rooms. Hot and cold water must be provided at outlets in or adjacent to the inedible handling room. The necessary doors connecting inedible storage rooms with rooms where edible products are handled must be metal clad, self-closing and tight fitting.
(b) A separate refrigerated room capable of maintaining a temperature of 45°F or less must be provided for the storage of inedible material at plants that store such material for a period longer than twenty-four hours. Such rooms must be of sanitary construction and must have impervious floors, walls and ceilings. The floors must be watertight, properly sloped and provided with drains leading to the plant sewage disposal system.
(c) All tanks and equipment used for rendering or preparing inedible meat must be in rooms or compartments separate from those used for rendering or preparing edible products.
(4) The slaughter floor must be kept reasonably free of blood, fat, scraps, etc. Water must not be permitted to splash from the floor upon unprotected carcasses on the bed or on the half hoist. The bed must be reasonably clean before the carcass is lowered. Clean watertight metal containers in good repair and free from objectionable odors must be provided at convenient locations for the reception of feet, tails, ears, pizzles, or other inedible material. Evisceration must be performed so as to avoid contamination of the carcass with ingesta or fecal material.
(5) Carcasses must be washed with water under pressure from a spray nozzle. Towels, rags, cloths, brushes of any kind, or water dipped out of a drum or containers must not be used. Metal drums of containers of water must not be used for washing hands, tools, or parts of carcasses, or for flushing the floor. A carcass that has been contaminated by manure or by pus must have the contaminated portion removed by trimming before being washed.
(6) Inedible material must not be placed on the slaughter room floor and must be kept in suitable watertight containers or vehicles until removed from the slaughter room.
(7) Skinned beef, calf and vealer heads must not be permitted to come in contact with the floor. The horns, hornbutts, muzzles, and all pieces of hide must be removed before the head is washed. If the meat from the head is to be saved, the head must be thoroughly washed individually, and flushed in a head flushing cabinet. This must include a thorough flushing of the mouth, nostrils, and pharynx while the head is hanging in an inverted position.
(8) In removing the front feet of cattle and calves, care should be taken to expose as little of the flesh of the foreshank as possible.
(9) Calves of such size that there is not a clearance of at least eight inches above the floor, or whose viscera cannot be transported manually and unaided to the inedible room, must be skinned and eviscerated as cattle.
(10) Calves dressed hide-on must be thoroughly washed and cleaned prior to making any incision into the carcass other than the sticking wound, except the heads of calves and vealers slaughtered in the "Kosher" method should be skinned prior to washing the carcasses.
(11) In slaughtering lambs and sheep, the pelt must be removed and the carcass thoroughly washed and cleaned before any incision is made for evisceration. Adequate care must be taken to prevent soilage of the carcass when removing the pelt.
(12) Hog carcasses must be thoroughly washed, cleaned, and singed (when necessary) to remove all hair, scale, scurf, dirt and toenails on the slaughtering floor before any incision is made other than the sticking wound. The forefeet need not be cleaned if discarded in the slaughtering room. Hog heads left on the carcass or saved intact must be thoroughly washed and flushed (nostrils, mouth and pharynx) and have ear tubes and eyelids removed.
(13) Paunches must not be opened in the slaughtering room, except when a power operated paunch lift table is provided for this purpose.
(14) Carcasses must be removed from the slaughter room to the chill cooler immediately after dressing and washing is completed. Improperly washed or unclean carcasses must not be brought into the coolers.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-200, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Requirements for assignment, stamping, recordkeeping and condemnation of meat.

The operator of any custom slaughtering establishment must have in his or her possession certificates of permit or other satisfactory proof of ownership of carcasses or parts thereof in his establishment. Such proof of ownership must be kept on file for a period of six months after receipt of the carcass or part of the carcass.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-210, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Additional requirements for sanitary operations of custom meat facilities.

(1) Refrigerated facilities.
(a) Adequate refrigerated facilities must be provided for the chilling and storage of products. Carcass chill coolers and holding coolers must have mechanical refrigeration capable of maintaining a temperature of 35°F or lower, when loaded to capacity. When overhead refrigerating facilities are provided, insulated drip pans must be installed beneath them and the pans properly connected to the drainage system or to other suitable facilities. If wall coils are installed, a drip gutter of impervious material and connected with the drainage system must be installed beneath the coils. The clearance between a hanging carcass and the floor must be sufficient to avoid contact with or contamination from the floor.
(b) Meat food product storage and display facilities must not be loaded to exceed their intended capacity and must maintain fresh and cured products stored in them below 45°F internal temperature and frozen meat food products below 0°F internal temperature.
(i) Such refrigeration facilities must be equipped with a visible, accurate thermometer located in the warmest part of the refrigerated area.
(ii) Uninspected meat food products must not be stored in display cases used for displaying inspected meat held for sale.
(2) Clean and sanitary operations and procedures. Operations and procedures involving the preparation, storing or handling of any meat must be strictly in accord with clean and sanitary methods.
(a) Receptacles used for inedible meat in rooms where edible products are handled must be in good repair and be properly sanitized before usage.
(b) Carcasses or parts of carcasses of uninspected meat not returned to their owner must be properly denatured and properly disposed of. Inspected carcasses or parts of carcasses not intended for human consumption shall be denatured before disposal.
(c) Coolers must not be loaded beyond their capacity to properly chill the carcasses and edible offal. Maximum cooler capacity for carcass chilling and holding purposes is based on available rail space in the coolers. Sufficient space must be provided so that carcasses do not touch.
(3) Employee health. Every person employed in a custom meat facility who may contribute to the transmission of infectious disease through the nature of the employee’s contact with meat or equipment and facilities is encouraged to obtain and place on file with the operator, a food and beverage service worker’s permit as prescribed by chapter 69.06 RCW.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-300, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Proof of ownership of uninspected carcasses or parts of carcasses.

(1) The operator of any custom meat facility must have in his or her possession certificates of permit as provided by chapter 16-620 WAC (Brand Inspection) or other satisfactory proof of ownership of all uninspected carcasses or parts of carcasses received in his or her establishment. Such proof of ownership must be kept on file for six months after receipt of such carcass or part of carcass.
(2) While in possession of the operator all uninspected cattle carcasses or parts of carcasses must be identified by a department-approved tagging device describing the name and address of the owner, name and address of the slaughterer, if not the owner, the slaughter date and brand, if the animal was branded, while in the possession of the operator. Such identification must conform to the requirements of chapter 16.57 RCW (Livestock identification).
(3) All uninspected meat food animal carcasses or parts of carcasses other than cattle must be identified on a tag available from the department as to name and address of owner, name and address of the slaughterer if different from the owner, and the slaughter date while in possession of the operator.
(4) The operator must give each owner of uninspected carcasses, parts of carcasses, or meat food products delivered to a custom meat facility for preparation a written record stating the gross weight received for preparation. The operator must maintain a duplicate copy of this record at his or her principal place of business for six months.
(5) Operators making sales of prepackaged inspected meat to other than household users must maintain written records of all such transactions, including the buyer, type of product sold and total net weight of each exchange.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-310, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Labeling and packaging requirements.

(1) All inspected meat and meat food products stored or prepared for the owner thereof, including packages or containers containing any uninspected meat food products, must be marked "NOT FOR SALE" in letters three-eighths of an inch in height immediately upon receipt and immediately after preparing.
(2) All meat food product labels and meat food product packaging must conform to requirements of chapter 19.94 RCW, the Weights and Measures Act and chapter 15.130 RCW, Food Safety and Security Act, now in effect or as amended, and rules adopted under those chapters.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 15.30.120, 69.07.020, 69.10.055, and 16.49.025. WSR 20-17-020, § 16-19-320, filed 8/6/20, effective 9/6/20. Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-320, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]


Requirements for preparation and storage of meat and meat food products.

(1) Inspected meat and uninspected meat must be stored and prepared separately at all times. Separate meat storage areas must be designated for inspected and uninspected meat and meat food products. There must be no physical contact between inspected and uninspected meat.
(2) There must be a complete equipment cleanup after preparation of uninspected meat.
(3) Meat food products offered for sale as fully cooked must be heated in all parts to the following minimum temperatures before delivery to a household user:
(a) Beef 145°F for three minutes or, comminuted (ground) beef products 155°F for fifteen seconds.
(b) Pork 145°F for three minutes or 150°F for one minute.
(c) Any products containing poultry or meat food birds must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165°F for fifteen seconds.
(4) Any cooked or partially cooked meat food product not delivered to a household user within two hours of heating must be placed in a cooler allowing adequate air circulation that is maintained at an ambient temperature of 45°F or less within two hours after removal from the heating source (smoker).
(5) Any processing of food other than meat must be done at different times from processing of meat. Any common equipment, utensils, or food contact surfaces used in the preparation of meat, meat food products, and other food products must be sanitized between periods of processing. Processing food, other than meat food animals or meat food birds, whether for the owner or for wholesale distribution, requires obtaining a food processing license from the department. Specific requirements and information on food processing plant licensing may be obtained from the department.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 16.49.680. WSR 99-12-021, § 16-19-330, filed 5/24/99, effective 6/24/99.]