Notice of Hearings
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
The State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announces that it will hold public hearings on a proposed rule that clarifies current DATCP rules related to rendering plants, animal food processors, grease processors, dead animal collectors and carcass dealers, without making substantial changes. The rule also incorporates current federal regulations that prohibit the feeding of protein from mammalian tissues to cattle or other ruminants.
With respect to meat and poultry for human food, the proposed rule incorporates recent federal regulation changes into state meat inspection rules, including prohibiting the slaughter of "downer" animals for human consumption (already being enforced), requiring producers of "ready-to-eat" meat products to have written procedures for minimizing food safety risks related to Listeria monocytogenes (already being implemented), and restricting the amount of water from post-evisceration processing that may be retained in raw meat and poultry. The proposed rule also clarifies current rules related to meat brokers and meat distributors.
Submission of Written Comments
DATCP will hold two public hearings at the times and places shown below. DATCP invites the public to attend the hearings and comment on the proposed rule. Following the public hearings, the hearing record will remain open until Monday, March 10, 2008, for additional written comments. Comments may be sent to the Division of Food Safety, Bureau of Meat Safety and Inspection at the address below, by email to Jim.Larson@wisconsin.gov
or online at: https://apps4. dhfs.state.wi.us/admrules/public/Home.
To provide comments or concerns relating to small business, please contact DATCP's small business regulatory coordinator Keeley Moll at the address above, or by emailing to Keeley.Moll@wisconsin.gov
, or by calling (608) 224-5039.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
2811 Agriculture Drive, Board Room (CR-106)
Madison, Wisconsin, 53708
Friday, February 22, 2008
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Marathon County Public Library
300 North First Street
Wausau, WI 54403
Hearing impaired persons may request an interpreter for these hearings. Please make reservations for a hearing interpreter by Wednesday, February 13, 2008, by writing to Carol Cockroft, Division of Food Safety, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708-8911, telephone (608) 224-4663. Alternatively, you may contact the DATCP TDD at (608) 224-5058. Handicap access is available at the hearings.
Copy of Rule
You may obtain a free copy of this rule by contacting the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Division of Food Safety, 2811 Agriculture Drive, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708. You can also obtain a copy by calling (608) 224-4726 or emailing Carol.Winner@wisconsin.gov
. Copies will also be available at the hearings. To view the proposed rule online, go to: https://apps4.dhfs.state.wi.us/admrules/public/Home
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection ("DATCP") administers Wisconsin food safety laws. Among other things, DATCP licenses and inspects meat establishments that produce meat for human consumption. DATCP also regulates rendering plants, animal food processors and other entities that process and handle inedible animal carcasses. This rule does all of the following:
• Repeals and recreates current DATCP rules related to rendering plants, animal food processors, grease processors, dead animal collectors and carcass dealers. These entities process and handle inedible animal carcasses and carcass materials, and produce products for non-food use. Regulation keeps inedible materials out of the human food chain and helps ensure safe animal feed. For the most part, this rule clarifies current rules without making major substantive changes.
• Incorporates current federal regulations that prohibit the feeding of protein from mammalian tissues to cattle or other ruminants. The prohibition is designed to prevent the incidence of BSE ("mad cow disease"). DATCP is already enforcing this federal prohibition.
• Amends current state meat inspection rules to incorporate recent changes in federal regulations (state rules must be at least "equal to" federal regulations). Consistent with federal regulations, this rule does all of the following:
• Prohibits, without exception, the slaughter of "downer" animals for human consumption (DATCP is already enforcing this federal prohibition).
• Requires producers of "ready-to-eat" meat products to have written procedures for minimizing food safety risks related to Listeria monocytogenes (DATCP has already implemented this federal requirement).
• Restricts the amount of water from post-evisceration processing that may be retained in raw meat and poultry.
• Clarifies current rules related to meat brokers and meat distributors.
Explanation of agency authority
DATCP has broad authority to regulate the production and sale of food and animal feed, and broad authority to regulate activities that may threaten animal health or spread disease. DATCP licenses and regulates rendering plants, animal food processors, grease processors, dead animal collectors and related businesses under s. 95.72
, Stats. DATCP licenses and regulates commercial feed manufacturers under s. 94.72
, Stats. DATCP licenses and regulates meat establishments under s. 97.42
, Stats. DATCP may adopt rules to implement statutes under its jurisdiction.
Inedible Animal By-Products
Wisconsin has a large rendering and animal food processing industry. This industry collects and processes inedible animal carcasses, inedible carcass materials and inedible meat by-products from Wisconsin's large livestock and meat processing industries, and produces useful non-food products such as grease, tallow, blood meal, bone meal and animal feed.
DATCP currently regulates rendering plants, animal food processors, grease processors and dead animal collectors under s. 95.72
, Stats., and ch. ATCP 57
, Wis. Adm. Code. Regulation protects human and animal health, and is closely related to the regulation of food and animal feed.
With the advent of BSE ("mad cow disease"), there has been increased focus on the rendering and animal food processing industries. DATCP currently enforces federal BSE regulations under contract with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA is considering possible regulatory changes, but has not adopted any changes to date (this rule incorporates current federal prohibitions and labeling requirements).
In cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Wisconsin has tested over 100,000 cattle for BSE without any positive disease findings. Wisconsin has tested far more cattle than any other state. Indeed, Wisconsin has tested about 20% of all the cattle tested to date in the entire nation.
This rule clarifies current licensing and regulation of rendering operations under s. 95.72
, Stats. Under this rule, "rendering" means melting or reconstituting carcasses or carcass materials, with the use of heat, to produce rendered products for non-food use. "Rendering" does not include licensed meat processing, licensed food processing, licensed grease processing, hide processing, or the manufacture of glue, pharmaceuticals or gelatin.
Under this rule, no person may do any of the following without an annual renderer license from DATCP:
• Operate a rendering plant in this state (a renderer may operate 2 or more rendering plants under a single license).
• Collect, receive or transport, in this state, carcasses or carcass materials for rendering by that person in this state or another state.
• Slaughter animals in this state for rendering by that person in this state or another state.
An annual license expires on February 28 of each year and is not transferable. A license does not authorize the license holder to produce, sell or distribute food for human consumption. An applicant must submit an annual license application that identifies rendering plant locations and includes other information required under this rule. The application must include an annual fee of $200 for each rendering plant (this rule does not change the current fee).
Before DATCP issues a license covering a new rendering plant, DATCP must inspect the rendering plant (DATCP may also inspect new transfer stations used to transfer carcasses from one vehicle to another). There is an inspection fee of $25 for each new rendering plant (this rule does not increase the current fee). There is no inspection fee for new transfer stations.
If a pre-license inspection is required, DATCP must complete the inspection within 30 days after DATCP receives a complete license application (unless the applicant agrees to a later inspection date). DATCP must grant or deny a license application within 30 days after DATCP receives the license application or, if a pre-license inspection is required, within 30 days after DATCP completes the inspection.
Rendering Plants; Location, Facilities and Operations
Current statutes prohibit the construction of a rendering plant within 1/8 mile of an existing residence or place of business (this rule incorporates that statutory prohibition). Rendering plant facilities must comply with basic sanitation standards, including basic ventilation standards, specified in this rule. Facilities must be designed for easy cleaning. Fully rendered products must be stored in a location and manner that protects them from contamination by live animals, un-rendered carcasses and un-rendered carcass materials.
A rendering plant must be kept free of nuisance conditions that pose a significant health or environmental risk, or cause obnoxious odors (other than normal odors incidental to generally accepted processing practices). Nuisance conditions include things like accumulated carcasses or manure, drainage from carcasses, accumulated litter, unclean facilities or rodent infestations.
A renderer must collect and safely dispose of all solid and liquid waste from rendering operations. A renderer must collect manure, offal, processing waste and other solid waste at least daily, and more often as necessary, to keep facilities clean and orderly. Liquid waste must be discharged to a public sewer system, or to an effluent disposal system that complies with department of natural resources (DNR) rules. A renderer must comply with applicable waste disposal laws, keep waste storage areas clean and orderly, and keep waste collection and disposal systems in good working order.
A renderer must transport and handle carcasses and carcass materials according to this rule (see below). If a renderer slaughters animals for rendering, the renderer must use humane methods, and must slaughter the animals in an area that is designed and equipped for safe and humane slaughtering. Live animals may not be unloaded, kept or slaughtered in processing or storage areas.