HOUSE BILL 162
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024
Gail Armstrong and Jack Chatfield and Jimmy G. Mason and
Susan K. Herrera and Harlan Vincent
RELATING TO FOOD; ENACTING THE MEAT INSPECTION ACT; AUTHORIZING THE NEW MEXICO LIVESTOCK BOARD TO CONDUCT MEAT INSPECTIONS TO ENSURE THE SAFETY AND QUALITY OF MEAT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION; CREATING THE OFFICE OF MEAT AND POULTRY INSPECTION; PROVIDING FOR INSPECTION STAMPS AND ESTABLISHMENT NUMBERS; PROVIDING PENALTIES; PROVIDING EXEMPTIONS FOR RITUAL SLAUGHTER.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Meat Inspection Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Meat Inspection Act:
A. "board" means the New Mexico livestock board;
B. "food additive" means a substance, the intended use of which results, or may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly, in the substance becoming a component of or otherwise affecting the characteristics of food, including a substance intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting or holding food and any source of radiation intended for such use; provided that the substance is not generally recognized, among experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate the substance's safety, as having been adequately shown through scientific procedures or, in the case of a substance used in food prior to January 1, 1958, through either scientific procedures or experience based on common use in food, to be safe under the conditions of its intended use; and further provided that "food additive" does not include:
(1) a pesticide chemical residue in or on a raw agricultural commodity or processed food;
(2) a pesticide chemical;
(3) a color additive;
(4) a substance used in accordance with a sanction or approval granted prior to the enactment of the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act or the Federal Meat Inspection Act;
(5) a new animal drug; or
(6) an ingredient intended for use in a dietary supplement;
C. "inspection director" means the director of the office of meat and poultry inspection;
D. "inspector" means a state meat inspector;
E. "livestock" means cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules or other equines, whether alive or dead;
F. "livestock product" means a livestock carcass or part of a livestock carcass, meat or a livestock meat product;
G. "meat" means the edible flesh of livestock, poultry, birds or animals as usually sold for human consumption and includes livestock products and poultry products;
H. "meat product" means a product capable of use as human food that is wholly or partially made from meat and is not specifically exempted by board rule;
I. "official establishment" means an establishment granted state meat inspection services by the board where inspection of the slaughter of livestock or poultry or the preparation of meat products is maintained pursuant to the Meat Inspection Act;
J. "pesticide chemical" has the same meaning as set forth in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act;
K. "poultry" means a domesticated bird, whether alive or dead;
L. "poultry product" means a poultry carcass or part of a poultry carcass or a product that is made wholly or in part from a poultry carcass or part of a poultry carcass and is not specifically exempted by board rule;
M. "prepared" means slaughtered, canned, salted, stuffed, rendered, boned, cut up or otherwise manufactured or processed;
N. "raw agricultural commodity" means food in its raw or natural state, including all fruits that are washed, colored or otherwise treated in their unpeeled natural form prior to marketing; and
O. "state meat inspection services" means inspection services granted by the board to a slaughtering establishment, meat processor or manufacturer of meat products.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] OFFICE CREATED--DUTIES--QUALIFICATIONS--COMPENSATION.--
A. The "office of meat and poultry inspection" is created under the board, subject to the control and direction of the executive director of the board. The board shall appoint an inspection director who meets the requirements established by the board.
B. The inspection director shall supervise state meat inspection and enforce and carry out the provisions of the Meat Inspection Act to assure the public that only pure, wholesome and unadulterated meat and meat products are offered for sale.
C. Upon approval by the inspection director, the board shall appoint and fix salaries of an inspector and a veterinary meat inspector, subject to the provisions of the Personnel Act, who shall conduct ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections, enforce sanitary requirements, perform other duties necessary to conduct proper meat inspection and carry out the provisions of the Meat Inspection Act.
D. An inspector assigned to an official establishment shall neither be related to the management of the establishment nor have a financial interest in the establishment.
E. Each inspector shall take the oath of office.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] APPLICATION FOR STATE MEAT INSPECTION SERVICES--PERIODIC INSPECTIONS--INSPECTION STAMPS AND ESTABLISHMENT NUMBERS.--
A. A slaughtering establishment, meat processor or manufacturer of meat products seeking state meat inspection services shall submit a written application to the board through a process established by the board.
B. The board shall provide for periodic investigations of the sanitary conditions of each official establishment and withdraw or otherwise refuse to grant state meat inspection services and inspect those establishments where the sanitary conditions may result in adulterated meat.
C. The office of meat and poultry inspection shall inspect the applicant's facilities to determine if they are clean and sanitary and meet the requirements of the Meat Inspection Act. Upon determination, the inspection director shall recommend approval or disapproval of the application to the board. The board may adopt the recommendation of the inspection director. If an application is approved, the board shall assign an official establishment number to the establishment to be used in accordance with the Meat Inspection Act.
D. The board shall provide meat inspection stamps that contain the words "New Mexico Inspected and Passed" and "New Mexico Inspected and Condemned" and assign establishment numbers to:
(1) slaughtering establishments that have been approved and granted state meat inspection services by the board; and
(2) meat processors and manufacturers of meat products that have been approved in accordance with the requirements of the Meat Inspection Act.
E. The board shall design inspection stamps so as not to be in conflict with the inspection stamps of the United States department of agriculture.
F. An official establishment may use symbols of the inspection stamps on its processed meats and meat products offered for sale so long as they are in compliance with the provisions of the Meat Inspection Act.
G. Meat inspection stamps shall at all times be under the immediate jurisdiction of the inspection director.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] ASSIGNMENT OF INSPECTORS.--
A. A slaughtering establishment granted state meat inspection services shall notify the inspection director of its hours of slaughter, and the inspection director shall assign inspectors to the establishment. The inspection director may assign one inspector to conduct inspection at two or more slaughtering establishments that have state meat inspection services. The hours of the day and the days of the week shall be arranged with the slaughtering establishments to ensure that an inspector is present at each establishment during all periods of slaughter.
B. A slaughtering establishment may slaughter in excess of eight hours in one day or slaughter on holidays or Sundays, and the inspection director shall assign an inspector to conduct meat inspection at those times. A slaughtering establishment shall pay overtime fees to the board when the board provides inspection services in excess of eight hours in one day or on holidays or Sundays. A slaughtering establishment that has state meat inspection services is not permitted to slaughter poultry, cattle, sheep, swine or goats unless there is an assigned inspector on the premises of the establishment during all periods of slaughter.
SECTION 6. [NEW MATERIAL] ANTE- AND POST-MORTEM INSPECTION REQUIRED.--
A. A slaughtering establishment that has state meat inspection services shall have an ante-mortem inspection. The inspector assigned to the slaughtering establishment shall examine each animal immediately prior to slaughter for the purpose of eliminating all unfit animals and segregating, for more thorough examination, all animals suspected of being affected with a condition that might influence disposition on post-mortem inspection. The unfit animals shall not be permitted to enter the slaughtering department of the plant. The suspected animals that are permitted to be slaughtered after inspection shall be handled separately from the regular kill and given a special post-mortem examination.
B. A slaughtering establishment that has state meat inspection services shall have a post-mortem inspection. The post-mortem examination shall be made at the time the animals are slaughtered. The inspector shall perform a thorough examination of the carcass and parts of the carcass in accordance with the rules promulgated by the board. The examination shall be conducted in the slaughtering department of the plant during the slaughtering operations.
C. The inspection director or an inspector shall have the laboratory of the board or a laboratory designated by the board conduct pathogenic examination of animals or parts of the animals for completion of ante-mortem or post-mortem inspection.
SECTION 7. [NEW MATERIAL] OFFICIAL ESTABLISHMENT DUTIES--RECORDS--PLANS--REASSESSMENTS.--An official establishment shall:
A. conduct ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections, quarantines, segregation and reinspections with respect to the slaughter of livestock and poultry and the preparation of livestock products and poultry products;
B. inspect livestock and poultry and mark and label meat products as "New Mexico Inspected and Condemned" if the products are found upon inspection to be adulterated and "New Mexico Inspected and Passed" if they are found upon inspection not to be adulterated;
C. destroy meat products that have been marked "New Mexico Inspected and Condemned";
D. maintain full and complete records of all transactions involving meat and make the records available on request to the inspection director or an inspector at any reasonable time;
E. prepare and maintain current procedures for the recall of meat or meat products produced and shipped by the establishment;
F. document each reassessment of the process control plans of the establishment; and
G. upon request, make the procedures and reassessed process control plans available to an inspector for review and copying.
SECTION 8. [NEW MATERIAL] CONDEMNATION AND APPEAL.--The inspector at an official establishment shall condemn all diseased or otherwise unfit carcasses and parts of carcasses, including the viscera. The official establishment shall remove the condemned parts from the slaughtering department of the plant in equipment designated for that purpose and shall destroy the condemned parts for food purposes under the supervision of the inspector. An official establishment may appeal a decision of an inspector as to carcasses or parts of carcasses that have been condemned by filing an appeal with the office of meat and poultry inspection. If the establishment is not satisfied with the office's resolution of the appeal, the establishment may submit an appeal to the board, whose decision shall be final unless the establishment aggrieved appeals to the district court pursuant to the provisions of Section 39-3-1.1 NMSA 1978.
SECTION 9. [NEW MATERIAL] RULES.--
A. The board, upon the recommendation of the inspection director, shall adopt rules that conform as far as possible to the requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act and the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978. The rules shall:
(1) set standards for ingredients of meat;
(2) set standards for labeling, marking or branding meat;
(3) set standards for the weights or measures of meat;
(4) set standards for the filling of containers for meat;
(5) regulate misbranded, false or fraudulent advertising of meat; and
(6) prescribe standards relating to sanitation for official establishments.
B. The board, upon the recommendation of the inspection director, may:
(1) adopt rules to exempt small meat packages, meat not in containers and other reasonable variations from labeling standards for weight, measure or numerical count; and
(2) prescribe additional rules as necessary to carry out the purposes of the Meat Inspection Act.
SECTION 10. [NEW MATERIAL] ADULTERATED MEAT--MISBRANDED MEAT AND MEAT PRODUCTS.--
A. Meat or a meat product is adulterated if:
(1) it bears or contains a poisonous or deleterious substance that may render it injurious to health; provided that a substance that is not added to meat is not considered adulterating if the quantity of the substance is insufficient to ordinarily render it injurious to health;
(2) it bears or contains, by reason of administration of a substance to the meat, an added poisonous or added deleterious substance other than a color additive, a food additive or a pesticide chemical in or on a raw agricultural commodity, that may, in the board's judgment, make the meat or meat product unfit for human food;
(3) it is, in whole or in part, a raw agricultural commodity and bears or contains a pesticide chemical that is unsafe within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act;
(4) it bears or contains a food additive that is unsafe within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act;
(5) it bears or contains a color additive that is unsafe within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; provided that meat or a meat product that is not otherwise deemed adulterated under Paragraph (3), (4) or (5) of this subsection shall be deemed adulterated if use of the pesticide chemical, food additive or color additive in or on the meat or meat product is prohibited by board rule;
(6) it consists in whole or in part of a filthy, putrid or decomposed substance or is for any other reason unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome or otherwise unfit for human food;
(7) it has been prepared, packed or held under unsanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health;
(8) it is, in whole or in part, the product of an animal, including poultry, that has died otherwise than by slaughter;
(9) its container is composed, in whole or in part, of a poisonous or deleterious substance that may render the contents injurious to health;
(10) it has been intentionally subjected to radiation, unless the use of the radiation was in conformity with a regulation or exemption in effect pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; or
(11) a valuable constituent has been, in whole or in part, omitted or abstracted; a substance has been substituted, wholly or in part; damage or inferiority has been concealed; or a substance has been added, mixed or packed to increase its bulk or weight; to reduce its quality or strength; or to make it appear better or of greater value.
B. Meat or a meat product is misbranded:
(1) if the labeling is false or misleading;
(2) if it is offered for sale under the name of another food;
(3) if it is an imitation of another food, unless its label bears, in type of uniform size and prominence, the word "imitation" and immediately thereafter, the name of the food being imitated;
(4) if its container is made, formed or filled so as to be misleading;
(5) unless it bears a label showing:
(a) the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor; and
(b) an accurate statement of the quantity of the product in terms of weight, measure or numerical count;
(6) if a word, statement or other information required by or under the Meat Inspection Act to appear on the label or other labeling is not prominently placed on the labeling with such conspicuousness, as compared with other words, statements, designs or devices on the labeling, or is not stated in such terms as to render it likely to be read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use;
(7) if it purports to be or is represented as a food for which a definition and standard of identity or composition has been prescribed by board rule, unless:
(a) it conforms to the definition and standard; and
(b) its label bears the name of the food specified in the definition and standard and, if required by rule, the common names of optional ingredients, other than spices, flavoring and coloring, present in the food;
(8) if it purports to be or is represented as a food for which a standard of fill of container has been prescribed by board rule, and it falls below that standard, unless the label bears in a manner and form as the rules specify, a statement that it falls below the standard;
(9) if it is not subject to the provisions of Paragraph (7) of this subsection and the label does not bear:
(a) the common name of the food; and
(b) in case it is fabricated from two or more ingredients, the common name of each ingredient; except that spices, flavorings and colorings may, if allowed by rule, be designated as spices, flavorings and colorings without naming each; provided that, to the extent that compliance with these requirements is impracticable or results in deception or unfair competition, exemptions shall be established by rules promulgated by the board;
(10) if it purports to be or is represented for special dietary uses, unless its label bears information concerning its vitamin, mineral and other dietary properties, as the board, after consultation with the United States secretary of agriculture, determines and by rule prescribes as necessary to fully inform purchasers as to its value for those uses;
(11) if it bears or contains an artificial flavoring, artificial coloring or chemical preservative, unless its labeling states that fact; provided that, to the extent that compliance with these requirements is impracticable, exemptions shall be established by rules promulgated by the board; or
(12) if it fails to bear, directly on the meat or meat product and on its containers, as required by rule, the official inspection stamp and establishment number of the establishment where the product was prepared and other information as the board may require by rule to ensure that the meat or meat product does not have false or misleading labeling and that the public is informed of the manner of handling required to maintain the meat or meat product in a wholesome condition.
SECTION 11. [NEW MATERIAL] PROHIBITED ACTS--PENALTY.--
A. Except as otherwise provided by the Meat Inspection Act, it is a:
(1) misdemeanor for a person to:
(a) slaughter livestock or poultry or prepare livestock products or poultry products for human consumption in violation of the provisions of the Meat Inspection Act;
(b) sell or transport adulterated, misbranded, condemned or uninspected meat;
(c) falsely represent that meat or a meat product has been inspected and passed or is exempted under the Meat Inspection Act or by board rule;
(d) knowingly make a false statement in a certificate required by board rule;
(e) sell or transport slaughtered poultry from which the blood, feathers, feet, head or viscera, other than giblets, have not been removed;
(f) fail to keep records required by the Meat Inspection Act;
(g) forge an official device, mark or certificate;
(h) use, alter, deface, detach or destroy an official device, mark or certificate without authorization;
(i) fail to use or fail to detach, deface or destroy an official device, mark or certificate contrary to board rules;
(j) knowingly possess a counterfeit certificate, device or label or the carcass or parts of the carcass of an animal bearing a counterfeit or improperly altered official mark; or
(k) buy, sell or transport livestock products or poultry products not intended for human food unless the products are naturally inedible by humans or are denatured or identified as required by board rule; and
(2) fourth degree felony for a person to:
(a) engage in the business of buying, selling or transporting dead, dying, disabled or diseased animals or parts of the carcasses of animals that died otherwise than by slaughter or buy, sell or transport dead, dying, disabled or diseased livestock or poultry or the products of livestock or poultry that died otherwise than by slaughter unless in accordance with rules adopted by the board to ensure that the animals or the unwholesome parts or products of the animals are prevented from being used for human food purposes; or
(b) engage in unfair trade practices, inaccurate or deceptive advertising, bait and switch selling or product misrepresentation or knowingly engage in price misrepresentation of meat.
B. A person who violates a provision of Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978.
C. A person who violates a provision of Paragraph (2) of Subsection A of this section is guilty of a fourth degree felony and shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978.
SECTION 12. [NEW MATERIAL] EXEMPTIONS.--The following persons are exempt from the provisions and penalties of the Meat Inspection Act:
A. a person who slaughters livestock or poultry for personal or household use or consumption;
B. a person who prepares or processes livestock products or poultry products for personal or household use or consumption; and
C. a person who transports dead, dying, disabled or diseased animals or poultry for the purpose of treatment, burial or disposal in a manner that would prevent the carcasses from being used as human food.
SECTION 13. [NEW MATERIAL] INTERFERENCE WITH BOARD OFFICIALS AND PERSONNEL.--A person who forcibly assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, harasses or intimidates a person engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties under the Meat Inspection Act is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978.
SECTION 14. [NEW MATERIAL] COOPERATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND OTHER PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITIES.--
A. The board and the inspection director shall request advice from and consult with the appropriate employees of the department of health, the department of environment and state laboratories on matters relating to potability of water, sewerage systems and other sanitary conditions of slaughtering and meat processing establishments that might endanger public health.
B. An inspector or the inspection director shall advise the department of health and the department of environment when, in the inspector's or inspection director's opinion, an official establishment fails to meet the minimum requirements of the departments. The department of health and the department of environment may send officers to make inspections of the premises. If a department of health or department of environment inspector confirms that the official establishment fails to meet the minimum requirements of the department of health or the department of environment, the board shall notify the official establishment that the grant for state meat inspection services or assigned establishment number is suspended.
SECTION 15. [NEW MATERIAL] SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF INSPECTION SERVICES OR ESTABLISHMENT NUMBER--HEARING--APPEAL.--
A. The board may suspend or revoke state meat inspection services or an establishment number for violation of or noncompliance with:
(1) a provision of the Meat Inspection Act;
(2) a rule issued pursuant to the Meat Inspection Act; or
(3) minimum requirements established by the department of health or the department of environment for sanitary conditions of slaughtering and meat processing establishments.
B. The board may suspend or revoke state meat inspection services or an establishment number only after a hearing before the board upon reasonable notice. The board shall provide notice to the official establishment by service of the complaint by certified mail, return receipt requested.
C. A decision of the board is final in a matter relating to renewal, suspension or revocation of state meat inspection services or establishment numbers unless the person aggrieved appeals to the district court pursuant to the provisions of Section 39-3-1.1 NMSA 1978.
SECTION 16. [NEW MATERIAL] POWER TO ENJOIN VIOLATIONS OF THE MEAT INSPECTION ACT.--In addition to other remedies provided in the Meat Inspection Act, the board may apply to the district court for a temporary or permanent injunction restraining a person from violating a provision of the Meat Inspection Act irrespective of whether there exists an adequate remedy at law.
SECTION 17. [NEW MATERIAL] APPLICATION OF FEDERAL LAWS.--The provisions of the Meat Inspection Act apply to persons, establishments, animals, meat and meat products regulated under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act and the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978 and only to the extent provided for in those acts.
SECTION 18. [NEW MATERIAL] NOTIFICATION.--An official establishment subject to inspection under the Meat Inspection Act that has knowledge, or has reason to have knowledge, that an adulterated or misbranded meat or meat product received by or originating from the establishment has entered into commerce shall promptly notify the inspection director with regard to the type, amount, origin and destination of the meat or meat product.
SECTION 19. [NEW MATERIAL] HUMANE METHODS OF SLAUGHTER--RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS.--
A. No method of slaughtering or handling in connection with slaughtering shall be deemed to comply with the public policy of the Meat Inspection Act unless it is humane. The following two methods of slaughtering and handling are humane:
(1) in the case of cattle, calves, sheep, swine and other livestock, all animals are rendered insensible to pain by a single blow or gunshot or electrical, chemical or other means that is rapid and effective before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast or cut; or
(2) by ritual slaughter.
B. Nothing in the Meat Inspection Act shall be construed to prohibit, abridge or hinder the religious freedom of an individual or group. To protect freedom of religion, ritual slaughter and the handling or other preparation of livestock for ritual slaughter are exempted from the provisions of the Meat Inspection Act.
C. For the purposes of this section, "ritual slaughter" means slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of a religious faith whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument and handling in connection with the slaughtering.
SECTION 20. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2024.
- 23 -