PROPOSAL
Maryland Register
Issue Date:  November 27, 2017
Volume 44• Issue 24 • Pages 1155—1157
 
Title 10
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Subtitle 15 FOOD
10.15.02 Crab Meat
Authority: Health-General Article, §§18-102, 21-211, 21-234, 21-304, 21-321, 21-339, 21-340, and 21-350, Annotated Code of Maryland
Notice of Proposed Action
[17-291-P]
The Secretary of Health proposes to amend Regulations .01, .05, and .07—.15 and repeal Regulation .02 under COMAR 10.15.02 Crab Meat.
Statement of Purpose
The purpose of this action is to:
(1) Update crab meat storage temperature requirements to national standards as a result of the repeal of temperature storage requirements from statute in Ch. 53 (S.B. 128) and Ch. 54 (H.B. 524), Acts of 2017;
(2) Update the processing procedure requirements to clarify intent and align with best practices;
(3) Remove outdated or onerous crab meat facility requirements; and
(4) Repeal Regulation .02 Incorporation by Reference because bacteriological testing standards are otherwise sufficiently covered by Regulation .15 Bacteriologic Standards.
Comparison to Federal Standards
There is a corresponding federal standard to this proposed action, but the proposed action is not more restrictive or stringent.
Estimate of Economic Impact
The proposed action has no economic impact.
Economic Impact on Small Businesses
The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.
Impact on Individuals with Disabilities
The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.
Opportunity for Public Comment
Comments may be sent to Michele Phinney, Director, Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination, Maryland Department of Health, 201 West Preston Street, Room 512, Baltimore, MD 21201, or call 410-767-6499 (TTY 800-735-2258), or email to mdh.regs@maryland.gov, or fax to 410-767-6483. Comments will be accepted through December 27, 2017. A public hearing has not been scheduled.
 
.01 Definitions.
   A. (text unchanged)
   B. Terms Defined.
       (1)—(3) (text unchanged)
       [(4) “Cooking method” means the method used to cook crabs before picking such as:
          (a) Boiled;
          (b) Steamed without pressure;
          (c) Steamed under pressure; or
          (d) A cooking method that meets the standards established by the state in which the crab meat plant is located.]
       [(5)] (4)[(16)] (15) (text unchanged)
       [(17)] (16) “Steamed” means cooked by exposure to steam in a cooker with the steam [under pressure or without pressure.
       (18) “Steamed under pressure” means cooked by exposure to steam under]:
          (a) Under pressure, so that the temperature of the steam is greater than 212°F at sea level[.]; or
       [(19) “Steamed without pressure” means cooked by exposure to steam at]
          (b) At atmospheric pressure in a non-pressurized cooker.
 
.05 Plant Facilities.
   A. (text unchanged)
   B. The person-in-charge shall ensure that:
       (1)—(7) (text unchanged)
       (8) Toilet rooms:
          [(a) Are separate for men and women;]
          [(b)] (a) Are provided at the rate of one toilet for every 20 employees; [and]
          [(c)] (b) Do not open directly into a food processing or storage area; and
          (c) Are:
             (i) Separate for men and women; or(i) Separate for men and women; or
             (ii) Designed for use by not more than one person at a time.
       (9) A hand sink is:
          (a)—(b) (text unchanged)
          [(c) Designed to allow activation without the use of hands in the picking and packing areas;]
          [(d)] (c) (text unchanged)
          [(e)] (d) Accompanied by [a] sanitizer [dip] in the picking and packing rooms for the sanitizing of hands; and
          [(f)] (e) (text unchanged)
       (10) (text unchanged)
       (11) A three-compartment sink is:
          (a) Designed to allow (a) Designed to allow [the full] immersion of utensils or equipment that will be cleaned and sanitized in the sink;
          (b) Provided in the plant for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing equipment and utensils; and
          [(c) When used for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing trays, knives, and gloves as set forth in Regulation .06B of this chapter, provided in the picking area at the rate of one three-compartment sink for each 20 pickers; and]
          [(d)] (c) (text unchanged)
       (12) (text unchanged)
   C. The person-in-charge may use [an existing hand sink that fails to comply with §B(9)(c) of this regulation and an existing] a two-compartment sink instead of the three-compartment sink required in §B(11)(b) of this regulation, if the [existing hand sink or] two-compartment sink:
       (1)—(5) (text unchanged)
 
.07 Equipment.
   The person-in-charge shall ensure that:
   A.—F. (text unchanged)
   G. Tables used to back and pick crabs, and pack crab meat and food[, and utensil washing sinks] are made of stainless steel of American Iron and Steel Institute Type 304, or the equivalent; and
   H. (text unchanged)
 
.08 Processing Practices.
   The person-in-charge shall ensure that:
   A.—B. (text unchanged) 
   C. The scheduled process:
       (1) Is [established and validated by a process authority;] maintained in writing and available on-site;
       (2)—(4) (text unchanged)
       (5) Is re-standardized each time there is a change in the processing system; and
       (6) Allows process monitoring; [and]
       [(7) Is in writing and a copy prominently posted near the associated cooker or pasteurization vessel;]
   D. A thermometer used in conjunction with a cooking or pasteurization vessel is calibrated at least annually, or is certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology with a valid certificate; and
   E. [A] If pressure is part of the scheduled process, a pressure gauge, used in conjunction with a cooking or pasteurization vessel is calibrated at least annually.
 
.09 Unit Processing Operations — Cooking.
   The person-in-charge shall ensure that:
   A. Live crabs received at the plant are stored[:
       (1) In] in a manner that enhances the crab’s survival and prevents decomposition[; and
       (2) Under refrigeration if the crabs are not to be cooked within 4 hours of receipt];
   B. (text unchanged)
   C. The cooling of cooked crabs conforms with the following:
       (1) (text unchanged)
       (2) When cooked crabs are refrigerated before picking, the cooked crabs are placed in refrigeration at [45°F] 40°F or below after cooling at ambient air temperatures; and
       (3) (text unchanged)
   D. [When] In order to provide a cold water rinse to remove sediment, when cooked dredged crabs are backed [in order to provide a cold water rinse to remove sediment]:
       (1) Before refrigeration, the crabs are air cooled, backed, and [placed in refrigeration] refrigerated within 4 hours after cooking[:
          (a) In a continuous process; and
          (b) Within 4 hours after cooking];
       (2) (text unchanged)
       (3) With no refrigeration and directly before picking [the cooked crabs,] the cooked crabs are cooled, backed, and picked and the crab meat packed in:
          (a)—(b) (text unchanged)
 
.10 Unit Processing Operations — Picking and Packing.
   The person-in-charge shall ensure that:
   A.—D. (text unchanged)
   [E. Except as provided in §G of this regulation, cooked crabs are picked into the final container;]
   [F.] E.[G.] F. (text unchanged)
 
.11 Unit Processing Operations — Repacking.
   The person-in-charge shall ensure that:
   A.—G. (text unchanged) 
   H. Crab meat for repacking is:
       (1) [Crab meat that was processed] Processed in a licensed plant operating under a HACCP plan;
       (2) (text unchanged)
       (3) Received in its original container and marked with the date of [picking, packing, or] pasteurization as required in Regulation .14 of this chapter;
       (4) (text unchanged)
       (5) [When] If pasteurized, stored at [38°F] 40°F or below before repacking;
       (6) (text unchanged)
       (7) When imported crab meat, sampled and tested for Standard Plate Count and Escherichia coli by an accredited laboratory using a composite sample from 5 separate containers and standard methods [found in the Bacteriological Analytical Manual (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2001) or other testing methods that are] approved by the Secretary based on the ability of the methods to provide accurate and repeatable results;
   I. (text unchanged)
   J. Repacked crab meat for pasteurization is:
       (1) Maintained at [45°F] 40°F or below during repacking and in storage before pasteurization;
       (2)—(3) (text unchanged)
   K. (text unchanged)
 
.12 Unit Processing Operations — Pasteurization.
   The person-in-charge shall ensure that:
   A. When crab meat is picked in one plant for pasteurization at another:
       (1) The crab meat is [picked into] transported in the final container;
       (2)—(3) (text unchanged) 
   B.—C. (text unchanged) 
   D. Immediately following pasteurization, pasteurized crab meat is continuously cooled to 55°F within 3 hours and to [38°F] 40°F within an additional 15 hours;
   E. (text unchanged)
   F. When a computer-based data logger or data acquisition device is used to record the time and temperature of pasteurization, the information required in §E(4) of this regulation is:
       (1) (text unchanged)
       (2) Available as a permanent copy for inspection by the Department for a period of 2 years[;].
 
.13 Unit Processing Operations — Storage.
   The person-in-charge shall ensure that:
   A. (text unchanged)
   B. Except when pasteurized within 2.5 hours of weigh-up in the packing room, packed crab meat for pasteurization is kept in ice or in an ambient air temperature of [45°F] 40°F or below until pasteurization;
   C. (text unchanged)
   D. Reduced oxygen packaged non-pasteurized crab meat is kept [in an ambient air temperature of 0°F or below] frozen; and
   E. (text unchanged)
 
.14 Labeling and Marking of Crab Meat Containers.
   The person-in-charge shall ensure that:
   A.—D. (text unchanged) 
   [E. For a container of fresh crab meat, the cooking method used, such as boiled, steamed under pressure, or steamed without pressure, is stated on the container;]
   [F.] E.[J.] I. (text unchanged)
   [K.] J. A container of crab meat containing crab meat picked from a crab, packed, repacked, or processed outside of the United States:
       (1) (text unchanged) 
       (2) The marking required in [§K(1)] §J(1) of this regulation is prominently displayed in letters not smaller than 12-point type on the principal display panel;
   [L.] K.[N.] M. (text unchanged) 
 
.15 Bacteriological Standards.
   A. (text unchanged) 
   B. To establish whether compliance is met with the bacteriological standards for crab meat set forth in §§C and D of this regulation, a person shall utilize the isolation, identification, and enumeration methods [set forth in the Bacteriological Analytical Manual (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2001) or other testing methods] that are approved by the Secretary based on the ability of the methods to provide accurate and repeatable results.
   C. The bacteriological standards for crab meat that is not pasteurized are the following:
       (1) Generic Escherichia coli may not exceed a Most Probable Number of [0.36] 3.6 per gram of fresh crabmeat;
       (2)—(3) (text unchanged)
   D. (text unchanged)
DENNIS SCHRADER
Secretary of Health