(a) The commissioner shall provide antemortem and postmortem inspection of all animals and poultry which are to be sold or offered for sale through a commercial outlet, establishment or distributor.
(b) The commissioner shall provide reinspection of carcasses, meat products and poultry products during further processing which have previously been inspected.
(c) All inspections under the provisions of this article shall be performed in accordance with reasonable rules promulgated by the commissioner.
(d) The commissioner shall inspect all establishments under state inspection to make certain that they are operating in accordance with the provisions of this article and all reasonable rules promulgated by the commissioner.
(e) When one inspector is assigned to make inspections at two or more establishments where few animals or poultry are slaughtered, or where small quantities of carcasses, meat products or poultry products are processed, or where the operations at such establishments are sporadic, and such establishments in any of such cases are in reasonable close proximity to one another, the commissioner, giving full consideration to the convenience of thelicensees of such establishments and considering the available inspection work force, may by written notice to such licensees specify a reasonable schedule for such operations: Provided, That the commissioner may not require operations other than during normal working hours.
(f) Every conveyance used by any establishment under state inspection, and, notwithstanding the provisions of section seven of this article, every conveyance used by any slaughterhouse, processing plant or distributor inspected by the United States department of agriculture, for the transportation of carcasses, meat products or poultry products shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition and may be inspected in accordance with the provisions of this article and reasonable rules promulgated by the commissioner.
(g) The commissioner shall require such quarantine and segregation of animals or poultry, carcasses, meat products or poultry products in establishments as is deemed necessary to effectuate the provisions of this article.
(h) The head, tongue, tail, thymus glands, viscera, blood and other parts of any slaughtered animal shall be retained in such a manner as to preserve their identity until after the postmortem inspection has been completed.
(i) Each licensee shall pay for such devices for the affixing of marks, brands, or stamps and for such labels as may be prescribed for his or her establishment by the commissioner. Suchdevices and labels shall be under the exclusive control and supervision of the commissioner. The label used by any licensee shall be of the form and size prescribed by reasonable rules promulgated by the commissioner.
(j) Each animal carcass that has been inspected and passed in this state by the commissioner shall be marked at the time of inspection with the inspection legend. Any animal or poultry carcass which is not passed shall be marked conspicuously by the commissioner at the time of inspection in the following manner: "W. Va. inspected and condemned," or any abbreviation thereof.
(k) Each primal part of an animal carcass that has been inspected and passed shall be marked with the inspection legend, and each liver, beef heart and beef tongue that has been inspected and passed shall be branded with the inspection legend at the time of final inspection. Meat that has been boned out, cut from primal parts or otherwise changed so that the inspection legend is no longer plainly visible, and meat products and poultry products that are too small to be marked with the inspection legend shall be packed in closed containers to which shall be affixed the label indicating that the meat products or poultry products contained therein have been inspected and passed. Upon removal of the contents of such containers bearing such label, the label shall be defaced to prevent its reuse.
(l) All carcasses, and meat products which have been derived from an animal slaughtered by a custom slaughterer or processed bya custom slaughterer or custom processor shall be marked "W. Va. custom slaughtered" in letters not less than three eighths of an inch in height.
(m) Each official inspection mark shall contain the establishment number of the establishment involved, unless otherwise authorized by rules promulgated by the commissioner.
(n) The commissioner is hereby authorized and empowered to seize and destroy: (1) Any animal or poultry to be slaughtered in this state and thereafter sold or offered for sale through a commercial outlet or distributor which cannot be made fit for human consumption; (2) any animal or poultry, carcass, meat product or poultry product slaughtered or processed in this state in violation of the provisions of this article or any reasonable rules promulgated by the commissioner; (3) any carcass, meat product or poultry product that does not bear an inspection legend or label provided for by this article or which has not been inspected and passed under inspection provided by the United States department of agriculture and which is intended to be sold or offered for sale through a commercial outlet or distributor; and (4) any animal or poultry, carcass, meat product or poultry product which is adulterated.
Where appropriate, the commissioner may, in lieu of destruction as aforesaid, denature, decharacterize, mutilate or slash any carcass, meat product or poultry product intended to be sold or offered for sale through a commercial outlet ordistributor. The commissioner is also authorized and empowered to seize and retain under a retained tag any animal or poultry, carcass, meat product or poultry product until the commissioner determines to destroy, denature, decharacterize, mutilate, slash or release the same. Whenever the commissioner is authorized or empowered to take any of the actions specified in this subsection, he or she may order and direct the person having custody or possession of such animal or poultry, carcass, meat product or poultry product, or the licensee of the establishment in which it is found, to be responsible for the disposition thereof, as well as any necessary storage, handling or other incidentals related thereto. Such disposition shall be carried out only under the direction and supervision of the commissioner.
(o) Whenever practicable, the commissioner shall forego the actions authorized in the immediately preceding subsection and permit reprocessing if such reprocessing will correct or eliminate the conditions which would have justified any of such actions. Any such reprocessing in this state shall be under the supervision of the commissioner.
(p) Whenever the commissioner has good cause to believe that any carcass, meat product or poultry product whether fresh, frozen, or processed, and which is intended to be sold or offered for sale through a commercial outlet or distributor, may be adulterated or otherwise injurious to health, he or she may inspect or reinspect the same under the provisions of this article and any reasonablerules promulgated by him or her, even though such carcass, meat product or poultry product may have been previously inspected and passed.
(q) No licensee shall employ in any establishment any person who has any communicable disease or infected wounds or who is a carrier of any communicable disease. To enforce the provisions of this subsection, the commissioner may require any employee or prospective employee to submit to a health examination by a physician and furnish to the commissioner a certificate from such physician concerning his or her findings. The cost of conducting such examination and furnishing such certificate shall be borne by the licensee concerned.
(r) Whenever the commissioner inspects any room, compartment, equipment or utensil in any establishment subject to state inspection and finds the same not to be clean and sanitary or finds the same to be otherwise unsuitable for the slaughtering or processing operations carried on in such establishment, he or she shall affix thereto a rejection tag or rejection notice. No such rejected room, compartment, equipment or utensil shall be used until the deficiencies requiring such rejection shall have been fully and completely corrected and the rejection tag or rejection notice has been removed. No person other than the commissioner shall remove any such rejection tag or notice.
(s) When any animal or poultry, carcass, meat product or poultry product has been inspected hereunder, the appropriateofficial inspection mark shall be affixed thereto, and no person shall remove the same unless authorized so to do by the commissioner.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
The West Virginia Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.