(a) Authority. This part is established under authority of the Public Health Service Act (the PHS Act). Under the FFDCA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can enforce the food adulteration provisions under 21 U.S.C. 331 through 334 and 342. Under the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 264), FDA has the authority to make and enforce regulations for the control of communicable diseases. FDA has established the following administrative enforcement procedures for the diversion or destruction of shell eggs and for informal hearings under the PHS Act:
(1) Upon a finding that any shell eggs have been produced or held in violation of this part, an authorized FDA representative or a State or local representative in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section may order such eggs to be diverted, under the supervision of said representative, for processing in accordance with the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.) or by a treatment that achieves at least a 5-log destruction of SE or destroyed by or under the supervision of an officer or employee of FDA, or, if applicable, of the State or locality in accordance with the following procedures:
(i) Order for diversion or destruction under the PHS Act. Any division office of FDA or any State or locality acting under paragraph (c) of this section, upon finding shell eggs that have been produced or held in violation of this part, may serve a written order upon the person in whose possession the eggs are found requiring that the eggs be diverted, under the supervision of an officer or employee of the issuing entity, for processing in accordance with the EPIA (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.) or by a treatment that achieves at least a 5-log destruction of SE or destroyed by or under the supervision of the issuing entity, within 10 working days from the date of receipt of the order, unless, under paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, a hearing is held, in which case the eggs must be diverted or destroyed consistent with the decision of the Office of Regulatory Affairs Program Director or another FDA official senior to an FDA Division Director under paragraph (a)(2)(v) of this section. The order must include the following information:
(A) A statement that the shell eggs identified in the order are subject to diversion for processing in accordance with the EPIA or by a treatment that achieves at least a 5-log destruction of SE or destruction;
(B) A detailed description of the facts that justify the issuance of the order;
(C) The location of the eggs;
(D) A statement that these eggs must not be sold, distributed, or otherwise disposed of or moved except as provided in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section;
(E) Identification or description of the eggs;
(F) The order number;
(G) The date of the order;
(H) The text of this entire section;
(I) A statement that the order may be appealed by written appeal or by requesting an informal hearing;
(J) The name and phone number of the person issuing the order; and
(K) The location and telephone number of the office or agency issuing the order and the name of its Director.
(ii) Approval of Division Director. An order, before issuance, must be approved by FDA's Division Director. If prior written approval is not feasible, prior oral approval must be obtained and confirmed by written memorandum as soon as possible.
(iii) Labeling or marking of shell eggs under order. An FDA, State, or local representative issuing an order under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section must label or mark the shell eggs with official tags that include the following information:
(A) A statement that the shell eggs are detained in accordance with regulations issued under section 361(a) of the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 264(a)).
(B) A statement that the shell eggs must not be sold, distributed or otherwise disposed of or moved except, after notifying the issuing entity in writing, to:
(1) Divert them for processing in accordance with the EPIA or by a treatment that achieves at least a 5-log destruction of SE or destroy them or
(2) Move them to another location for holding pending appeal.
(C) A statement that the violation of the order or the removal or alteration of the tag is punishable by fine or imprisonment or both (section 368 of the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 271)).
(D) The order number and the date of the order, and the name of the government representative who issued the order.
(iv) Sale or other disposition of shell eggs under order. After service of the order, the person in possession of the shell eggs that are the subject of the order must not sell, distribute, or otherwise dispose of or move any eggs subject to the order unless and until receiving a notice that the order is withdrawn after an appeal except, after notifying FDA's division office or, if applicable, the State or local representative, in writing, to:
(A) Divert or destroy them as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, or
(B) Move them to another location for holding pending appeal.
(2) The person on whom the order for diversion or destruction is served may either comply with the order or appeal the order to an Office of Regulatory Affairs Program Director in accordance with the following procedures:
(i) Appeal of a detention order. Any appeal must be submitted in writing to FDA's Division Director in whose division the shell eggs are located within 5 working days of the issuance of the order. If the appeal includes a request for an informal hearing, the hearing must be held within 5 working days after the appeal is filed or, if requested by the appellant, at a later date, which must not be later than 20 calendar days after the issuance of the order. The order may also be appealed within the same period of 5 working days by any other person having an ownership or proprietary interest in such shell eggs. The appellant of an order must state the ownership or proprietary interest the appellant has in the shell eggs.
(ii) Summary decision. A request for a hearing may be denied, in whole or in part and at any time after a request for a hearing has been submitted, if the Office of Regulatory Affairs Program Director or another FDA official senior to an FDA Division Director determines that no genuine and substantial issue of fact has been raised by the material submitted in connection with the hearing or from matters officially noticed. If the presiding FDA official determines that a hearing is not justified, written notice of the determination will be given to the parties explaining the reason for denial.
(iii) Informal hearing. Appearance by any appellant at the hearing may be by mail or in person, with or without counsel. The informal hearing must be conducted by the Office of Regulatory Affairs Program Director or another FDA official senior to an FDA Division Director, and a written summary of the proceedings must be prepared by the presiding FDA official.
(A) The presiding FDA official may direct that the hearing be conducted in any suitable manner permitted by law and by this section. The presiding FDA official has the power to take such actions and make such rulings as are necessary or appropriate to maintain order and to conduct an informal, fair, expeditious, and impartial hearing, and to enforce the requirements concerning the conduct of hearings.
(B) Employees of FDA will first give a full and complete statement of the action that is the subject of the hearing, together with the information and reasons supporting it, and may present oral or written information relevant to the hearing. The party requesting the hearing may then present oral or written information relevant to the hearing. All parties may conduct reasonable examination of any person (except for the presiding officer and counsel for the parties) who makes any statement on the matter at the hearing.
(C) The hearing shall be informal in nature, and the rules of evidence do not apply. No motions or objections relating to the admissibility of information and views will be made or considered, but any party may comment upon or rebut any information and views presented by another party.
(D) The party requesting the hearing may have the hearing transcribed, at the party's expense, in which case a copy of the transcript is to be furnished to FDA. Any transcript of the hearing will be included with the presiding FDA official's report of the hearing.
(E) The presiding FDA official must prepare a written report of the hearing. All written material presented at the hearing will be attached to the report. Whenever time permits, the presiding FDA official may give the parties the opportunity to review and comment on the report of the hearing.
(F) The presiding FDA official must include as part of the report of the hearing a finding on the credibility of witnesses (other than expert witnesses) whenever credibility is a material issue, and must include a recommended decision, with a statement of reasons.
(iv) Written appeal. If the appellant appeals the detention order but does not request a hearing, the presiding FDA official must render a decision on the appeal affirming or revoking the detention order within 5-working days after the receipt of the appeal.
(v) Presiding FDA official's decision. If, based on the evidence presented at the hearing or by the appellant in a written appeal, the presiding FDA official finds that the shell eggs were produced or held in violation of this section, he must affirm the order that they be diverted, under the supervision of an officer or employee of FDA for processing under the EPIA or by a treatment that achieves at least a 5-log destruction of SE or destroyed by or under the supervision of an officer or employee of FDA; otherwise, the presiding FDA official must issue a written notice that the prior order is withdrawn. If the presiding FDA official affirms the order, he must order that the diversion or destruction be accomplished within 10-working days from the date of the issuance of his decision. The presiding FDA official's decision must be accompanied by a statement of the reasons for the decision. The decision of the presiding FDA official constitutes final agency action, subject to judicial review.
(vi) No appeal. If there is no appeal of the order and the person in possession of the shell eggs that are subject to the order fails to divert or destroy them within 10 working days, or if the demand is affirmed by the presiding FDA official after an appeal and the person in possession of such eggs fails to divert or destroy them within 10 working days, FDA's division office or, if applicable, the State or local representative may designate an officer or employee to divert or destroy such eggs. It shall be unlawful to prevent or to attempt to prevent such diversion or destruction of the shell eggs by the designated officer or employee.
(b) Inspection. Persons engaged in production of shell eggs must permit authorized representatives of FDA to make, at any reasonable time, an inspection of the egg production establishment in which shell eggs are being produced. Such inspection includes the inspection and sampling of shell eggs and the environment, the equipment related to production of shell eggs, the equipment in which shell eggs are held, and examination and copying of any records relating to such equipment or eggs, as may be necessary in the judgment of such representatives to determine compliance with the provisions of this section. Inspections may be made with or without notice and will ordinarily be made during regular business hours.
(c) State and local cooperation. Under sections 311 and 361 of the Public Health Service Act, any State or locality that is willing and able to assist the agency in the enforcement of §§ 118.4 through 118.10, and is authorized to inspect or regulate egg production establishments, may, in its own jurisdiction, enforce §§ 118.4 through 118.10 through inspections under paragraph (b) of this section and through administrative enforcement remedies specified in paragraph (a) of this section unless FDA notifies the State or locality in writing that such assistance is no longer needed. A state or locality may substitute, where necessary, appropriate State or local officials for designated FDA officials in this section. When providing assistance under paragraph (a) of this section, a State or locality may follow the hearing procedures set out in paragraphs (a)(2)(iii) through (a)(2)(v) of this section, or may utilize comparable State or local hearing procedures if such procedures satisfy due process.
(d) Preemption. No State or local governing entity shall establish, or continue in effect any law, rule, regulation, or other requirement regarding prevention of SE in shell eggs during production, storage, or transportation that is less stringent than those required by this part.