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9 CFR 416.2(f) Sewage

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The scope of 9 CFR 416.2(f)is limited to the sewage disposal system.

Sewage must be disposed into a sewage system separate from all other drainage lines or disposed of through other means sufficient to prevent backup of sewage into areas where product is processed, handled, or stored.  When the sewage disposal system is a private system requiring approval by a State or local health authority, the establishment must furnish FSIS with the letter of approval from that authority upon request.

Unlike most 9 CFR 416 requirements, 9 CFR 416.2(f) is prescriptive.

  • Sewage is disposed into a sewage system separate from all other drainage lines or it is not.
  • Sewage is disposed of through other means sufficient to prevent backup of sewage into areas where product is processed, handled, or stored or it is not.  
  • The sewage disposal system is a private system requiring approval by a State or local health authority or it is not.
  • The establishment can furnish FSIS with the letter of approval for a private system from a State or local health authority or it cannot.

FSIS interprets a failure to meet any of these proscriptive requirements as synonymous with conditions whereby product may be contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health.  9 CFR 416.2(f) noncompliance is uncommon, but noncompliance with serious consequences can occur in official establishments built or renovated before municipalities began enforcing modern plumbing codes.  The following scenario really happened.

  • The original owner of an official establishment retired after 2000 and sold the business.  The new owner of applied for a grant of inspection. FSIS requested the letter of approval for the private sewage disposal system.  Such letter did not exist.  The State would not issue a letter of approval for the private sewage disposal system because it did not meet federal EPA standards.  FSIS disapproved the application for the grant of inspection. The new owner had to bring the system into compliance with EPA standards.  How could that happen?  
  • The official establishment came under federal inspection when the federal meat-inspection sanitation regulations [9 CFR 8.3] did not require approval of private sewage disposal systems. When FSIS implemented 9 CFR 416.2(f)in 1999, FSIS did not require the owner to obtain a letter of approval.

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Michael Fisher

Husband of one. Father of three. Grandfather of six. Soldier. Traveler. Advisor. Friend.

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