10.15.08.09

.09 Enforcement Actions.

A. Raw Milk Enforcement.

(1) When two of the last four consecutive bacterial count or cooling temperatures, taken on separate days, exceed the limit for raw milk, as set forth in this chapter, the Department shall:

(a) Send to the permit holder a written notice of intent to suspend the permit which shall remain in effect as long as two of the last four consecutive samples exceed the limit of the standard; and

(b) Take an additional sample within 21 days of the written notice of intent to suspend, but not before 3 days have elapsed.

(2) When the standard set forth in Regulation .08 of this chapter is violated three of the last five consecutive bacterial counts or cooling temperature tests the Department shall immediately suspend the permit in accordance with this section, Regulation .20 of this chapter, and Health-General Article, §21-418, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(3) The Department shall conduct an investigation and take enforcement action in accordance with the Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, Appendix N, when a drug test is positive.

(4) When an odor and appearance evaluation results in rejection of milk:

(a) The Department shall conduct an investigation to determine the reason for the rejection; and

(b) A person may not offer the rejected milk for sale.

(5) When a pesticide, herbicide, or radionuclide residue test is positive:

(a) The Department shall conduct an investigation to determine the cause and the cause shall be corrected;

(b) An additional sample shall be taken and tested for the pesticide, herbicide, or radionuclide, and no milk shall be used for processing or offered for sale until it is shown by a subsequent sample to be free of the positive residue; and

(c) The Department may suspend a permit based on the presence of pesticide, herbicide, or radionuclide residue.

B. Farmstead Cheese Finished Product Enforcement.

(1) When the pathogen testing result exceeds the limits set forth in Regulation .08 of this chapter, the cheese in violation may not be offered for sale, and the:

(a) Department shall conduct an investigation to determine the cause; and

(b) Cause shall be corrected prior to resumption of processing.

(2) A person may not offer for sale a farmstead cheese product if the processing requirement is in violation of this chapter at the end of the aging period:

(a) Days of aging;

(b) Temperature during aging; or

(c) Percent moisture.

(3) Cheese may be detained and further pathogen testing may be required to show compliance.

C. Reinstatement of Permits.

(1) To reinstate a permit that is suspended for either a bacteria count or cooling violation the permit holder shall:

(a) Submit a written application for the reinstatement of the permit;

(b) Successfully complete a Department inspection of the facility within 1 week of a reinstatement request to ensure that the condition responsible for the violation is corrected;

(c) Accept a temporary permit if it has determined that the facility is in compliance; and

(d) Complete an accelerated sampling program at the rate of no more than two samples per week on separate days within a 3-week period to confirm that the violation has been corrected.

(2) The Department shall fully reinstate the permit upon compliance with the appropriate bacteria and temperature standard as determined in accordance with Regulation .08 of this chapter.

(3) To reinstate a suspended permit for violations other than bacteriological, drug residue test, or cooling temperature standards, the permit holder shall:

(a) Notify the Department that the violation has been corrected; and

(b) Successfully complete a Department inspection of the facility within 1 week of a reinstatement request to ensure that the condition responsible for the violation is corrected.

(4) When a permit suspension has been due to a positive drug residue, the permit shall be reinstated in accordance with the provisions of the Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, Appendix N, incorporated by reference in Regulation .03 of this chapter.