Information About an Application for Grant of Custom Exemption

Requirements for a Grant of Custom Exemption

People or firms wanting to obtain a Grant of Custom Exemption must have (1) facilities suitable to meet regulatory sanitation performance standards and have (2) written sanitation standard operating procedures. Applicants must submit a completed application to the Regional DSHS Meat Safety Assurance Group office.

1. Sanitation Performance Standards

9 CFR, §416.1 (Title 9 Code of Federal Regulations) states that "Each official establishment must be operated and maintained in a manner sufficient to prevent the creation of insanitary conditions and to ensure that product is not adulterated."

The Sanitation Performance Standards Compliance Guide issued by the United States Department of Agriculture – Food Safety and Inspection Service is an excellent document to use as a guide in meeting the performance standards and should be used throughout planning, construction, and operation of inspected meat and poultry establishments.

2. Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP)

Regulations require that meat and poultry establishments develop, implement, and maintain written standard operating procedures for sanitation (Sanitation SOPs). SSOPs must describe all procedures an establishment will conduct daily, before and during operations, to prevent direct contamination or adulteration of product(s). SSOPs must describe which procedures will be conducted before the start of operations and those that will be conducted during operations. SSOPs should include an inspection checklist and a corrective action record to document daily the procedures conducted and to document any corrective actions taken in response to observed deficiencies.

3. Labeling and Marking

Meat and poultry products produced under a grant of custom exemption must be clearly marked "NOT FOR SALE" and include the name of the owner of the carcass or product.