|Flooding: A Checklist for Small and Very Small
Meat, Poultry, and Egg Processing Plants
- Determine if the plant is located in an area
prone to flooding from heavy rains, tornados,
- Examine the outside structure of the plant.
- Is it in good condition?
- Are there areas that could be improved to help withstand
water or flood damage, particularly the roof, lower level coolers,
- Is there an emergency generator?
- Develop a clean up plan that covers each room in the facility,
including dry storage, processing and slaughter areas, coolers,
- Specify which cleaners and sanitizers should be used on
walls, floors, and equipment.
- Develop a testing regimen to determine if cleanup is effective;
include numbers of samples and where they should be taken.
- Prepare a call-down system for notifying employees of
the plant's operational status.
- Make sure that copies are posted in a prominent place or
that all employees have a copy of the notification plan.
- Practice using the system.
- Include emergency contact numbers for fire, police, the
District Office, etc.
- Identify essential functions and the employees who would
carry these out.
- Determine how product is packaged and stored.
- Is it in areas that might be affected by rising water?
- Are there methods that can be put in place to quickly remove
product in the event there is time to prepare?
- Are there ways to protect product from contamination without
removing it from the plant?
- Are there methods to keep product refrigerated or frozen?
- Look at these and other factors and include mitigation strategies
in your plan.
- Determine how you would dispose of any contaminated product,
for example, landfill or denaturing.
- Evaluate facility condition.
- Determine if the plant can operate in a safe and sanitary manner.
- Is there potable water?
- Is there electricity? Refrigeration?
- Is there an operational generator?
- Is there damage to the outside premises?
- Put the plans that you developed in the preparation steps into
- Implement call-down or notification procedure.
- Determine if employees are safe.
- Determine how many employees are available.
- What are their positions?
- Can they carry out essential functions?
- Contact the Frontline Supervisors (FLS) or District office
to let them know the status of your operations.
- Keep employees apprised of conditions on a daily basis.
- Determine if product is affected or contaminated.
- How much product is affected?
- What type of product is affected?
- Was potable water unavailable when product was produced?
- Is any product salvageable?
- Retain affected product.
- Maintain contact with FLS or District regarding affected product
- Determine the extent of the damage, if any, to the plant.
- Arrange for appropriate repairs as required.
- Assess the internal area of the plant, processing rooms, coolers,
freezers, and slaughter areas.
- Institute the cleanup plan, including testing after cleanup
and sanitizing to determine effectiveness.
- Use the information from the cleanup and sampling results to
make determinations about the startup of the plant.
- Determine if the plant can produce product that is safe, wholesome,
and properly labeled.
- Determine if the water supply is safe to produce wholesome
- Use the call plan to determine how many employees are available
and to notify them when it is safe to return to work.
- Notify employees of plant operational status as needed.
- Determine if you have enough personnel available to resume
- Utilize the disposal criteria as needed.
- Keep records of the amount of affected product that has been
disposed of or denatured.
- Determine if product can be reprocessed and still be safe.
- Fill out all appropriate FSIS disposal forms for product.
- Keep FSIS personnel informed on the decisions that you have
made regarding product disposition.
- Ensure that FSIS employees are able to confirm proper disposal
of product through records or observation of disposal.
- Update your plan as needed.
September 22, 2008