Direct Market Requirements

18 AAC 34.055. Facility Plan Approval

A person is required to demonstrate compliance with 18 AAC 34.060 for a permit for a facility, which requires submission at least 60 days prior to construction

Plans submitted under (a) of this section must:

—(1) include the location of any processing and storage buildings, roads, alleys, docks, and other areas that are part of the facility location and that will be used to support the processing, storage, or transportation of seafood products;
—(2) accurately depict the location or placement of
—(A) processing equipment;
—(B) storage areas for seafood, food ingredients, and food packaging materials;
—(3) include plumbing plans that show
—(A) piping used for potable water, nonpotable water, and wastewater;
—(B) each plumbing fixture that is in a processing area; and
—(C) toilets and handwash sinks; and
—(4) describe the surface finish of walls, floors, and ceilings in processing, packaging, and storage areas, to demonstrate compliance with 18 AAC 34.060.

18 AAC 34.060. Facility requirements

A processor shall ensure that each facility meets the requirements of 18 AAC 34.075 - 18 AAC 34.085 unless a waiver is approved under 18 AAC 34.915. In addition,

—(1) the facility must be adequate in size, design, and construction to accommodate sanitary processing and storage of seafood products, and to prevent contamination of seafood products, food ingredients, food-contact surfaces and food packaging materials; in addition,
—(A) the outside walls and the roof
—(i) may be made of a flexible material, such as rubberized nylon, polypropylene, polyester-based vinyl, or nylon-based vinyl, that is at least 20 mils thick, with the seams heat-welded; and
—(ii) must protect the facility from weather and the entry of insects, rodents, and other animals;
—(B) fixtures, ducts, and pipes must be designed, or otherwise covered or protected, to prevent drippage or condensate in an area used for food processing or storage of food, food ingredients, or food packaging materials;
—(C) sleeping or living quarters must be separated from processing and food or food packaging storage areas by a solid, stationary floor-to-ceiling wall to prevent direct access from these areas to the sleeping or living quarters;
—(D) light bulbs, glass fixtures, skylights, or other glass suspended over seafood processing, packaging, or storage areas must be shielded to protect the seafood from broken glass; and
—(E) odors, noxious fumes, excessive dust or vapors, including steam, must be minimized and controlled to protect product or process operations;
—(2) the facility must have lighting of at least —
—(A) 50 footcandles, measured at the work surface, in areas where
—(i) seafood products, food ingredients, or additives are inspected, sorted, graded, or processed; and
—(ii) processing equipment control panels and food packaging materials, including tin stock, jars, and retort pouches, are tested or examined; and
—(B) 20 footcandles, evenly distributed to all other areas not described in (A) of this paragraph, including product holding, food packaging, food storage, and container cooling areas;
—(3) an accurate thermometer must be provided for each refrigerator, refrigerated brine tank, freezer room, or other controlled environmental storage unit;
—(4) the inside walls in
—(A) any area that will likely be splashed with water or other processing wastes during processing and cleaning must be made of a solid material that is nonabsorbent, durable, smooth, easily cleanable, and sealed to the floor; if the solid material is less than the full height of the wall, the top of the solid material must be sealed to the wall;
—(B) food processing areas, built-in refrigerators, and freezers used in the processing of seafood products must be made of tile, sealed or noncorrosive metal, fiberglass, glasply panels, or another nonabsorbent, durable, smooth, and easily cleanable material designed for its intended use;
—(C) storage freezers and ingredient storage areas must be easily cleanable and may be made of wood if the wood is sealed with a visible sealant; and
—(D) dry storage areas must be easily cleanable and may be made of unsealed wood if the walls are cleaned without using water or another cleaning liquid;
—(5) floors in
—(A) processing areas where large amounts of water are used must be made of concrete, sealed or noncorrosive metal, fiberglass, or another suitable material and must be adequately sloped to floor drains;
—(B) refrigerator and freezer areas that are subject to drippage must be made of concrete, sealed or noncorrosive metal, fiberglass, or another suitable material; and
—(C) warehouse and storage rooms used for dry storage must be made of a material that is easily cleanable; floors may be made of unsealed wood if cleaning methods do not require the use of water or another liquid;
—(6) floor drains are required in areas where
—(A) refrigeration or freezer pipes produce condensate that accumulates;
—(B) normal operations release or discharge water or other liquid waste onto the floor; or
—(C) wastewater could contaminate a processing area;
—(7) the facility and the immediate vicinity outside of the facility must be
—(A) free from litter, waste, refuse, and uncut weeds or grass that might attract or harbor pests, including rodents and insects, using pest control procedures required by 21 C.F.R. 110.35(c), adopted by reference in 18 AAC 34.010; and
—(B) adequately drained to
—(i) prevent contamination through seepage or footborne filth; or
—(ii) avoid creating a breeding place for insects or microorganisms.

18 AAC 34.915. Waiver of Requirements

18 AAC 34.075 Plumbing & 18 AAC 34.085 Toilet and hand wash sinks waivers

(a) Except for a fee required under 18 AAC 34.900 or 18 AAC 34.905, the department will, in its discretion, waive a requirement of this chapter if the department finds that public health is protected and the purpose of the requirement is otherwise satisfied.

(b) An application for a waiver must be submitted to the department in writing and

—(1) specify the requirement for which the waiver is sought;
—(2) state the reason why the requirement cannot be met;
—(3) describe the alternative method proposed to meet the purpose of the requirement, and how that method will be equally protective of public health; the applicant shall include any scientific data, academic research, or other information that will assist the department in making its decision; and
—(4) include the waiver fee required in 18 AAC 34.900.
—(c) The department will grant or deny a waiver application in writing with or without conditions within 30 working days after the department receives the application.