Commonly Asked Questions from Small and Very Small Plants on Sanitation
Question 1: Do chemical sanitizers used on surfaces in direct contact with food
(food contact surface) have to be approved for use in the plant?
FSIS does not approve chemical sanitizers. Sanitizers used on food contact
surfaces must meet FDA requirements with the establishment having
documentation that the sanitizer is safe for use in a food-processing
environment. This documentation must be available to FSIS upon request.
Chemical sanitizers must be used according to the manufacturer’s directions.
The label on the sanitizer should state that the sanitizer is safe for use on food
Question 2: What types of materials are required to be used to construct walls in
an inspected establishment?
The regulations do not specify the types of materials that must be used for wall
construction in an inspected facility but do require the materials to be:
• Durable and kept in good repair, and
Impervious to (not capable of being damaged by) moisture
When using these materials, the establishment should comply with the local
municipal building codes.
In an effort to assist establishments, FSIS has prepared a document titled
USDA/NCDA & Consumer Services Facility Guidelines for Meat and Poultry
Plants. The Agency published this document in the Federal Register Volume 62,
dated August 25, 1997, and you can access it on-line at
Question 3: What documents can be used to demonstrate that the water used in
the establishment is potable (i.e., fit for human consumption)?
Answer 3: A potability certificate or report from a State or local health agency or
other responsible organization is acceptable. The potability certificate for water
from a municipal source must be available to FSIS upon request. It does not
have to be renewed annually.
When the water supply comes from a private well, the