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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of Dec 22, 2023.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 2]
[CITE: 21CFR123.3]



Subpart A - General Provisions

Sec. 123.3 Definitions.

The definitions and interpretations of terms in section 201 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) and in parts 110 and 117 of this chapter are applicable to such terms when used in this part, except that the definitions and terms in parts 110 and 117 do not govern such terms where such terms are redefined in this part and except that the terms facility, hazard, and manufacturing/processing in parts 110 and 117 do not govern such terms where used in this part. The following definitions shall also apply:

(a) Certification number means a unique combination of letters and numbers assigned by a shellfish control authority to a molluscan shellfish processor.

(b) Critical control point means a point, step, or procedure in a food process at which control can be applied, and a food safety hazard can as a result be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to acceptable levels.

(c) Critical limit means the maximum or minimum value to which a physical, biological, or chemical parameter must be controlled at a critical control point to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level the occurrence of the identified food safety hazard.

(d) Fish means fresh or saltwater finfish, crustaceans, other forms of aquatic animal life (including, but not limited to, alligator, frog, aquatic turtle, jellyfish, sea cucumber, and sea urchin and the roe of such animals) other than birds or mammals, and all mollusks, where such animal life is intended for human consumption.

(e) Fishery product means any human food product in which fish is a characterizing ingredient.

(f) Food safety hazard means any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption.

(g) Importer means either the U.S. owner or consignee at the time of entry into the United States, or the U.S. agent or representative of the foreign owner or consignee at the time of entry into the United States, who is responsible for ensuring that goods being offered for entry into the United States are in compliance with all laws affecting the importation. For the purposes of this definition, ordinarily the importer is not the custom house broker, the freight forwarder, the carrier, or the steamship representative.

(h) Molluscan shellfish means any edible species of fresh or frozen oysters, clams, mussels, or scallops, or edible portions of such species, except when the product consists entirely of the shucked adductor muscle.

(i) Preventive measure means physical, chemical, or other factors that can be used to control an identified food safety hazard.

(j) Process-monitoring instrument means an instrument or device used to indicate conditions during processing at a critical control point.

(k)(1) Processing means, with respect to fish or fishery products: Handling, storing, preparing, heading, eviscerating, shucking, freezing, changing into different market forms, manufacturing, preserving, packing, labeling, dockside unloading, or holding.

(2) The regulations in this part do not apply to:

(i) Harvesting or transporting fish or fishery products, without otherwise engaging in processing.

(ii) Practices such as heading, eviscerating, or freezing intended solely to prepare a fish for holding on board a harvest vessel.

(iii) The operation of a retail establishment.

(l) Processor means any person engaged in commercial, custom, or institutional processing of fish or fishery products, either in the United States or in a foreign country. A processing includes any person engaged in the production of foods that are to be used in market or consumer tests.

(m) Scombroid toxin-forming species means tuna, bluefish, mahi mahi, and other species, whether or not in the family Scombridae, in which significant levels of histamine may be produced in the fish flesh by decarboxylation of free histidine as a result of exposure of the fish after capture to temperatures that permit the growth of mesophilic bacteria.

(n) Shall is used to state mandatory requirements.

(o) Shellfish control authority means a Federal, State, or foreign agency, or sovereign tribal government, legally responsible for the administration of a program that includes activities such as classification of molluscan shellfish growing areas, enforcement of molluscan shellfish harvesting controls, and certification of molluscan shellfish processors.

(p) Shellstock means raw, in-shell molluscan shellfish.

(q) Should is used to state recommended or advisory procedures or to identify recommended equipment.

(r) Shucked shellfish means molluscan shellfish that have one or both shells removed.

(s) Smoked or smoke-flavored fishery products means the finished food prepared by:

(1) Treating fish with salt (sodium chloride), and

(2) Subjecting it to the direct action of smoke from burning wood, sawdust, or similar material and/or imparting to it the flavor of smoke by a means such as immersing it in a solution of wood smoke.

(t) Tag means a record of harvesting information attached to a container of shellstock by the harvester or processor.

[60 FR 65197, Dec. 18, 1995, as amended at 80 FR 56167, Sept. 17, 2015]