.12 Plant and Equipment Sanitation.

The person-in-charge shall ensure that:

A. The grounds around a food processing plant are:

(1) Maintained free of unused equipment, debris, litter, waste, high weeds, or grass that provide an attractant, breeding place, or harborage for vermin and insects; and

(2) Adequately drained to:

(a) Promote sanitation; and

(b) Prevent breeding places for pests and insects;

B. Food contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized:

(1) Using a process that removes soils and kills pathogens;

(2) As often as needed to prevent food contamination; and

(3) Except as provided in §D of this regulation, at a minimum:

(a) Following processing;

(b) When there is an interruption in processing of greater than 2 hours; and

(c) During the processing of a potentially hazardous food, after a continuous use of not more than 6 hours;

C. When a time greater than 8 hours separates the start of processing from previous cleaning and sanitizing, food contact surfaces are sanitized again before work resumes;

D. When a cleaning and sanitization schedule other than that set forth in §§B(3) and C of this regulation is used, that the cleaning and sanitizing schedule has been shown through scientific study to comply with §B(1) and (2) of this regulation;

E. When a piped clean-in-place system is used:

(1) A cleaning agent and a sanitizing agent are:

(a) Fully circulated through a fixed system to contact all food contact surfaces;

(b) Effective in cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces;

(c) Used in accordance with the chemical manufacturer's instructions; and

(d) Removed from equipment and food contact surfaces before the equipment's or food contact surface's coming into contact with food by:

(i) Rinsing with potable water; or

(ii) Other means that evacuate the cleaning and sanitizing agents;

(2) The design, construction, maintenance, and operation of the piped clean-in-place system prevents the contamination of food by cleaning and sanitizing agents; and

(3) The operation of the piped clean-in-place system using chemicals that are potentially hazardous to public health is a critical control point that is controlled, monitored, and documented as set forth in Regulation .08 of this chapter;

F. Non-food-contact plant and equipment surfaces that receive splash or waste are cleaned and sanitized:

(1) As often as necessary to maintain a sanitary condition; and

(2) At a minimum following each day's use;

G. Non-food contact plant and equipment surfaces that do not receive splash or waste are cleaned as often as necessary to maintain a sanitary condition;

H. Cleaning procedures:

(1) If wet, include the use of detergents or other cleaning agents; and

(2) Remove soils;

I. The sanitization of surfaces is effective in killing pathogens on the treated surfaces;

J. Before cleaning, all food and food packaging is removed from the area being cleaned;

K. Cleaning and sanitizing occur in a manner that protects food from contamination;

L. Cleaned equipment and utensils are stored to prevent contamination of the equipment and utensils;

M. Unused equipment and nonessential items are not stored in the plant;

N. The facility is:

(1) Maintained free of vermin and insects; and

(2) Protected against the entrance and harborage of vermin and insects;

O. Vermin and insects are eliminated so that there is no potential for food contamination;

P. When used to exterminate vermin and insects, pesticides:

(1) Comply with Agriculture Article, Title 5, Subtitle 1, Annotated Code of Maryland; and

(2) Are used:

(a) As set forth in:

(i) Agriculture Article, Title 5, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland; and

(ii) §V(1) of this regulation; and

(b) Unless specifically approved for use in food areas, only in non-food areas;

Q. Waste is:

(1) Held in a sanitary manner; and

(2) Disposed of to:

(a) Maintain the plant and the plant grounds in a sanitary condition; and

(b) Comply with the requirements in Environment Article, Title 9, Annotated Code of Maryland;

R. Food contact surfaces, utensils, equipment, and general plant surfaces are cleaned or cleaned and sanitized as set forth in written sanitation standard operating procedures that:

(1) Are available to employees in a form they understand; and

(2) Ensure proper sanitation;

S. When equipment and utensils are washed, rinsed, and sanitized using a three- compartment sink:

(1) Each sink compartment is large enough to allow the immersion of the equipment or utensils; and

(2) The washed, rinsed, and sanitized items are dry before stacking or nesting;

T. Dry cleaning methods such as vacuuming and sweeping are used:

(1) Only when effective in removing filth and soils; and

(2) In a manner that prevents contamination of food and food contact surfaces;

U. Dock and overhead doors are open only when food or other items are being moved between transportation facilities and plant receiving areas; and

V. Toxic chemicals are:

(1) Used:

(a) So that food contamination is prevented; and

(b) In accordance with the manufacturer's directions; and

(2) Stored so that:

(a) Food and food contact surfaces are not exposed to the chemicals; and

(b) The chemical manufacturer's labeling is on the chemical container.