1. Descriptions of pre-optional SSOPs, explicitly distinguished from daily sanitation activities, addressing at a minimum the cleaning of food contact surfaces of facilities, equipment and utensils.
2. Descriptions of operational SSOPs that will result in a sanitary environment in accordance with sections 308 and 381 of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Regulations.
These should describe procedures during operations that include equipment and utensils cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting during production, at breaks, at midshift and between shifts, employee hygiene and product handling in raw and cooked product areas.
For implementation, the rule calls on the establishment to identify the employee(s), by position(s) rather than by the name(s) of a specific employee, who will be responsible for the SSOPs by monitoring the program and documenting adherence to the SOP and corrective actions taken. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the SSOP can be performed by organoleptic.
(sight, feel, smell), chemical (sanitizer level) or microbiological methods. Records should be maintained for a minimum of 6 months and on-site for 48 hours.
Inspectors will NOT approve SSOPs, but will provide advice and guidance. Inspectors also have the authority to verify adequacy and effectiveness of SSOPs. Verification may include reviewing the SSOPs, reviewing the daily records, direct observation of the SSOPs implementation, or direct observation of sanitary conditions.
Detailed information on the SSOPs regulations can be found in the Federal Register, 61 (144) and 9CFR 416. Appendix A - Guidelines for Developing a Standard Operating Procedure for Sanitation (Sanitation SOPs) in Federally Inspected Meat and Poultry Establishments and Appendix B - A Model of a Standard Operating Procedure for Sanitation from this issue of the Federal Register are included here.