A. The person-in-charge shall ensure that the equipment and facilities needed to process food in accordance with the requirements of this chapter are provided and maintained in a sanitary and working condition.
B. The person-in-charge shall ensure that the water supplied to a fixture:
(1) Is potable;
(2) Meets the requirements of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, and COMAR 26.04.01; and
(3) Is protected against backflow.
C. The person-in-charge shall ensure that the sewage disposal system for the plant:
(1) Meets all applicable State and local codes and properly disposes of wastewater; and
(2) Except where a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit has been issued by the Maryland Department of the Environment, is used to dispose of all generated wastewater.
D. The person-in-charge shall ensure that, except as provided for in Regulation .18B(1) of this chapter and §§L and N of this regulation, a room or area in which food is processed or stored or in which utensils or equipment are cleaned, sanitized, or kept:
(1) Is separated from other rooms or areas in the plant by:
(a) Tight walls, ceilings, and self-closing doors; or
(b) A distance that precludes the contamination of food;
(2) If not refrigerated, is mechanically ventilated using exhaust and supply fans so that:
(a) Excessive grease vapors, steam, condensation, heat, and odors are removed;
(b) Filtered air is supplied to provide a positive air pressure in the room; and
(c) Condensation and grease do not accumulate on room surfaces and equipment;
(3) Has a floor, walls, and a ceiling that are smooth, washable, easily cleanable, and impervious to water;
(4) Has only the exposed overhead pipes, ducts, conduits, evaporators, and other structures that are needed for proper processing, which:
(a) May not be located over food storage, preparation, or serving areas; and
(b) Shall be installed so that food is protected against leakage;
(5) Has floor-wall junctures that are:
(a) Coved; and
(b) Impervious to water;
(6) Other than a room or area solely used to store food, has hand sinks in the room or area:
(a) That are accessible to the workers;
(b) At the rate of one hand sink for each 15 employees or fraction of 15 employees that work in the area; and
(c) That are provided warm water of sufficient volume under pressure for effective hand washing;
(7) Has artificial lighting that provides a minimum of:
(a) 40 foot-candles of light on all work surfaces used for processing and utensil washing; and
(b) 20 foot-candles of light on surfaces used solely for food storage; and
(8) Has light shields that:
(a) Protect exposed light bulbs or light fixtures that are not shatter resistant from breakage by potential direct impact; and
(b) Prevents glass fragments from a bulb or light fixture that breaks or explodes from contacting food or food contact surfaces.
E. The person-in-charge shall ensure that, when a floor receives water as a result of processing or cleaning, the floor is sloped to one or more floor drains at a pitch of 1/8 to 1/4 inch per foot.
F. The person-in-charge shall ensure that floor drains are provided:
(1) To effectively remove all water from the floor; and
(2) At the rate of a minimum of one floor drain for each 400 square feet of floor area.
G. The person-in-charge shall ensure that a floor drain receives only wastewater that must be directed to the floor, such as water from:
(1) Cleaning the floor or other room surfaces;
(2) Cleaning equipment;
(3) Ice used in processing; and
(4) Incidental splash from equipment.
H. The person-in-charge shall ensure that the equipment and facilities needed for effective plant cleaning and for cleaning and sanitizing food contact and non-food contact surfaces as set forth in Regulation .12 of this chapter are provided and maintained in a sanitary condition.
I. The person-in-charge shall ensure that toilet rooms:
(1) Are separate for men and women or allow separate use by the sexes;
(2) Do not open directly into an area in which food is processed or in which containers, utensils, or equipment is washed or held;
(3) Are provided with:
(a) A toilet at the rate of one toilet for each 15 employees or fraction of 15 employees;
(b) A lavatory at the rate of one lavatory for each 15 employees or fraction of 15 employees;
(c) Ventilation having:
(i) Mechanical air exhaust and entrance of an equal amount of makeup air at the rate of 2 cubic feet per minute of air for each square foot of floor area; or
(ii) A screened window that allows the entrance of outside air;
(d) Easily cleanable and durable walls and ceiling;
(e) A smooth, impervious, and easily cleanable floor;
(f) Artificial lighting that provides 20 footcandles of light as measured 30 inches above the floor; and
(g) A lavatory supplied with:
(ii) Warm water of sufficient volume under pressure for effective hand washing;
(iii) Paper towels or warm air hand drying devices; and
(iv) A trash receptacle.
J. The person-in-charge shall ensure that the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of the plant and the flow of food through the plant minimize the:
(1) Potential for food contamination by cross-contamination;
(2) Access of vermin and insects to:
(a) Food; and
(b) The plant; and
(3) Harborage of vermin and insects.
K. The person-in-charge shall ensure that, except as provided in Regulation .18 of this chapter, food processing plants are completely separated from areas used as living quarters by solid, impervious floors, walls, and ceilings with no connecting openings.
L. The person-in-charge shall ensure that a room or area in which dry packaged food that is not subject to breakage or leakage is stored or broken down into smaller lots of packaged food has:
(1) Smooth, impervious, and cleanable floors;
(2) Walls and a roof and ceiling that:
(a) Are vermin and insect proof; and
(b) Afford protection against the weather;
(3) Artificial lighting that provides 20 footcandles of light as measured 30 inches above the floor; and
(4) Ventilation that complies with §D(2) of this regulation.
M. The person-in-charge shall ensure that waste containers are:
(1) Adequate in number to maintain sanitary conditions;
(2) Accessible to workers at locations where waste is generated;
(3) Easily cleanable;
(4) If the containers are located inside the plant:
(a) Leak proof; and
(b) Emptied and cleaned:
(i) In a manner that maintains a sanitary condition; and
(ii) At least daily; and
(5) If the containers are outside waste containers:
(a) Leak proof or provided a drain that conveys wastewater from the container directly into a sewerage system that:
(i) Meets all applicable State and local codes; and
(ii) Properly disposes of wastewater;
(b) Placed on a hard and impermeable surface;
(c) Large enough to hold waste until the waste is taken off-site; and
(d) Unless removed daily or more often, vermin and insect proof.
N. The Department may accept plant and facilities designs and constructions other than those provided for in this regulation based on a review that shows that the alternative plant and facilities designs and constructions:
(1) Provide for food safety, food protection, and sanitation; and
(2) Are equivalent to regulatory and industry standards that predate this chapter.