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e-CFR data is current as of March 5, 2021

Title 21Chapter ISubchapter BPart 121Subpart A → §121.3


Title 21: Food and Drugs
PART 121—MITIGATION STRATEGIES TO PROTECT FOOD AGAINST INTENTIONAL ADULTERATION
Subpart A—General Provisions


§121.3   Definitions.

The definitions and interpretations of terms in section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act are applicable to such terms when used in this part. The following definitions also apply:

Actionable process step means a point, step, or procedure in a food process where a significant vulnerability exists and at which mitigation strategies can be applied and are essential to significantly minimize or prevent the significant vulnerability.

Adequate means that which is needed to accomplish the intended purpose in keeping with good public health practices.

Affiliate means any facility that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with another facility.

Calendar day means every day as shown on the calendar.

Contaminant means, for purposes of this part, any biological, chemical, physical, or radiological agent that may be added to food to intentionally cause illness, injury, or death.

Facility means a domestic facility or a foreign facility that is required to register under section 415 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, in accordance with the requirements of part 1, subpart H of this chapter.

Farm means farm as defined in §1.227 of this chapter.

FDA means the Food and Drug Administration.

Food means food as defined in section 201(f) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and includes raw materials and ingredients.

Food defense means, for purposes of this part, the effort to protect food from intentional acts of adulteration where there is an intent to cause wide scale public health harm.

Food defense monitoring means to conduct a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether mitigation strategies are operating as intended.

Food defense verification means the application of methods, procedures, and other evaluations, in addition to food defense monitoring, to determine whether a mitigation strategy or combination of mitigation strategies is or has been operating as intended according to the food defense plan.

Full-time equivalent employee is a term used to represent the number of employees of a business entity for the purpose of determining whether the business qualifies as a small business. The number of full-time equivalent employees is determined by dividing the total number of hours of salary or wages paid directly to employees of the business entity and of all of its affiliates and subsidiaries by the number of hours of work in 1 year, 2,080 hours (i.e., 40 hours × 52 weeks). If the result is not a whole number, round down to the next lowest whole number.

Holding means storage of food and also includes activities performed incidental to storage of food (e.g., activities performed for the safe or effective storage of that food, such as fumigating food during storage, and drying/dehydrating raw agricultural commodities when the drying/dehydrating does not create a distinct commodity (such as drying/dehydrating hay or alfalfa)). Holding also includes activities performed as a practical necessity for the distribution of that food (such as blending of the same raw agricultural commodity and breaking down pallets), but does not include activities that transform a raw agricultural commodity into a processed food as defined in section 201(gg) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Holding facilities could include warehouses, cold storage facilities, storage silos, grain elevators, and liquid storage tanks.

Manufacturing/processing means making food from one or more ingredients, or synthesizing, preparing, treating, modifying or manipulating food, including food crops or ingredients. Examples of manufacturing/processing activities include: Baking, boiling, bottling, canning, cooking, cooling, cutting, distilling, drying/dehydrating raw agricultural commodities to create a distinct commodity (such as drying/dehydrating grapes to produce raisins), evaporating, eviscerating, extracting juice, formulating, freezing, grinding, homogenizing, irradiating, labeling, milling, mixing, packaging (including modified atmosphere packaging), pasteurizing, peeling, rendering, treating to manipulate ripening, trimming, washing, or waxing. For farms and farm mixed-type facilities, manufacturing/processing does not include activities that are part of harvesting, packing, or holding.

Mitigation strategies mean those risk-based, reasonably appropriate measures that a person knowledgeable about food defense would employ to significantly minimize or prevent significant vulnerabilities identified at actionable process steps, and that are consistent with the current scientific understanding of food defense at the time of the analysis.

Mixed-type facility means an establishment that engages in both activities that are exempt from registration under section 415 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and activities that require the establishment to be registered. An example of such a facility is a “farm mixed-type facility,” which is an establishment that is a farm, but also conducts activities outside the farm definition that require the establishment to be registered.

Packing means placing food into a container other than packaging the food and also includes re-packing and activities performed incidental to packing or re-packing a food (e.g., activities performed for the safe or effective packing or re-packing of that food (such as sorting, culling, grading, and weighing or conveying incidental to packing or re-packing)), but does not include activities that transform a raw agricultural commodity into a processed food as defined in section 201(gg) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Qualified individual means a person who has the education, training, or experience (or a combination thereof) necessary to perform an activity required under subpart C of this part, as appropriate to the individual's assigned duties. A qualified individual may be, but is not required to be, an employee of the establishment.

Significant vulnerability means a vulnerability that, if exploited, could reasonably be expected to cause wide scale public health harm. A significant vulnerability is identified by a vulnerability assessment conducted by a qualified individual, that includes consideration of the following: (1) Potential public health impact (e.g., severity and scale) if a contaminant were added, (2) degree of physical access to the product, and (3) ability of an attacker to successfully contaminate the product. The assessment must consider the possibility of an inside attacker.

Significantly minimize means to reduce to an acceptable level, including to eliminate.

Small business means, for purposes of this part, a business (including any subsidiaries and affiliates) employing fewer than 500 full-time equivalent employees.

Subsidiary means any company which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by another company.

Very small business means, for purposes of this part, a business (including any subsidiaries and affiliates) averaging less than $10,000,000, adjusted for inflation, per year, during the 3-year period preceding the applicable calendar year in sales of human food plus the market value of human food manufactured, processed, packed, or held without sale (e.g., held for a fee).

Vulnerability means the susceptibility of a point, step, or procedure in a facility's food process to intentional adulteration.

You means, for purposes of this part, the owner, operator, or agent in charge of a facility.

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