Chapter 919: HORSE MEAT

919.01 Horse meat definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Horse meat market" means any establishment in which the parts of horses are processed and sold, or exposed or offered for sale at retail for human food other than a horse slaughterhouse.

(B) "Establishment" includes all premises where horses or parts thereof are processed and sold, or exposed or offered for sale at retail for human food such as canneries, sausage factories, rendering, salting, curing, and smoking houses or plants, markets, and similar places.

(C) "Inspection" means the examination, checking, or testing necessary to determine the wholesomeness, sanitary conditions, adulteration, misbranding, quality, and purity of horse meat products or the sanitary condition of horse meat processing establishments.

(D) "Processing" means to perform any act incidental to the manufacture, preparation, development, or changing of horse meat to convert it into marketable form to be sold or offered for sale at retail.

(E) "Horse" means an animal of the equine family.

(F) "Carcass" means the dressed body of a horse.

(G) "Horse meat" means the meat of a horse.

(H) "Horse meat food product" means any article intended for human food that is derived in whole or in part from horse meat.

(I) "At retail" means for use or consumption by the purchaser and not for resale.

(J) "Federal inspection" means the horse meat inspection service maintained by the food safety and inspection service of the United States department of agriculture.

(K) "State inspection" means the horse meat inspection service maintained by the department of agriculture of this state.

(L) "District health department inspection" means the horse meat inspection service maintained by district health departments.

(M) "Municipal inspection" means the horse meat inspection service maintained by municipal corporation officials.

Cite as R.C. § 919.01

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.02 License - registration - fee.

Any person responsible for the operation of any establishment in which horses or parts thereof are processed and sold, exposed, or offered for sale at retail for human food, shall register with the department of agriculture and secure from the director of agriculture a license to operate each separate establishment in which horses or parts thereof are processed and sold, exposed, or offered for sale at retail. No person responsible for the operation of such a processing establishment shall operate the enterprise without first securing a license to engage in such business. All licenses shall be valid to and including the thirtieth day of June following the date of issuance.

Any person required to be licensed under this section shall file with the director an application for a license to engage in the business of processing horses or parts thereof for sale at retail for human food setting forth such information covering the ownership, location, operation, equipment, facilities, and sanitary condition of the establishment, the health of the horses, or the commodities to be processed, as is required by the director. If examination of the information provided in the application and other pertinent information available to the director indicates that the parts of horses to be processed are fit for human food, and that the processing establishment to be operated complies with the sanitary standards prescribed in this chapter, or in rules adopted pursuant thereto, the director shall accept the application and issue a license.

The director may refuse to issue a license to any applicant if he determines that any information supplied by the applicant is false or misleading or that the establishment to be operated fails to comply with the sanitary or wholesomeness standards established in this chapter, or in rules adopted pursuant thereto. The director may suspend or revoke any license for the operation of an establishment for flagrant violation of any of those sections or rules adopted pursuant thereto. There shall be no refusal to issue a license, or no suspension or revocation of any such license, until the applicant or licensee is given an opportunity for a hearing by the director in regard to the refusal, suspension, or revocation, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. An appeal may be taken from the action of the director in refusing, suspending, or revoking a license to the court of common pleas as provided in that chapter.

An annual registration fee of fifty dollars for each establishment, in which horses and horse meat and horse meat products are processed and sold at retail, shall be paid to the director by each applicant under this section. Registration shall be renewed annually and the registration fee paid with the application for annual renewal.

Cite as R.C. § 919.02

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.03 Horse meat to be labeled by processor.

All horse carcasses, horse meat, and horse meat food products sold, or exposed or offered for sale at retail in this state shall be labeled by the processor thereof to show his name and address and the name of the carcasses, horse meat, and horse meat food product.

Cite as R.C. § 919.03

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.04 Inspection stamp.

The director of agriculture shall prescribe the wording of a sanitary or wholesomeness inspection stamp used on a horse carcass, horse meat, or horse meat food product or on the covering, wrapper, or container of such commodity when the commodity is intended for human food that is processed, sold, exposed, or offered for sale at retail in the state. The wording of the stamp shall specify that a sanitary inspection or an inspection for wholesomeness has been made of the commodity on which the stamp is used, and that the commodity has met the standards for sanitation or wholesomeness established in this chapter or rules adopted pursuant thereto.

The director may authorize the use of such an inspection stamp on horse carcasses, horse meat, or horse meat food products, or on the coverings, wrappers, or containers thereof, by qualified officials of the state, by any municipal inspection service, or by any district health inspection service approved by the director.

The use of such an inspection stamp by any unauthorized person, or the misuse thereof by any person so authorized, constitutes a violation of this section.

Cite as R.C. § 919.04

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.05 Alteration of labels or stamps.

No person shall deface, alter, or remove any slaughterer or processor identification labels, or of any impression made by a horse meat inspection stamp affixed on any horse carcass, horse meat, or on any horse meat food product by any qualified official of the state, by any municipal inspection service, or by any district health inspection service approved by the director of agriculture, so as in any manner to cause the commodities to be unbranded or misbranded.

Cite as R.C. § 919.05

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.06 Detention tag - order for condemnation - supervision.

Whenever the director of agriculture finds or has reasonable cause to believe that any horse carcass, horse meat, or any horse meat food product, being sold or exposed for sale at retail for human consumption, is unfit for human food, is misbranded, or is unbranded, or that any horse meat food product is adulterated, within the meaning of this chapter or rules adopted pursuant thereto, he shall affix to the product a detention tag giving notice that the carcass, meat, or product is, or is suspected of being, unfit for human food, or is misbranded, unbranded, or adulterated, and has been detained. The detention tag shall warn all persons not to dispose of the carcass, meat, or product in any manner or to remove the carcass, meat, or product from the premises where detained until permission is given to do so in writing by the director or by court order. If the detained carcass, meat, or product is found, after examination and analysis by the director, to be unfit for human food or to be misbranded, unbranded, or adulterated, the director shall petition the judge of any court having jurisdiction for an order for condemnation. If the director finds upon examination and analysis that the detained article is fit for human food, is not misbranded, or is not adulterated, he shall remove the detention tag. If the court finds that the detained carcass, meat, or product is unfit for human food, or is misbranded or adulterated, the carcass, meat, or product, after entry of the decree, shall be destroyed under supervision of the director at the expense of the defendant, and all court costs and fees, storage, transportation, handling, and other expenses in connection with the proceedings shall be levied against the defendant or his agent. When the misbranding, absence of branding, or adulteration can be corrected by proper processing, labeling, or branding, by processing any horse carcass or horse meat, or by reprocessing any horse meat food product, which is unfit for human consumption, into feed for animals other than man, tankage, fertilizers, soap, or other nonedible commodities, the court, after entry of the decree and payment of the costs, fees, and expenses, and the posting of a sufficient bond guaranteeing that the detained product shall be so processed, reprocessed, labeled, or branded, may order that custody of the detained carcass, meat, or product be delivered to the defendant for such reprocessing, labeling, or branding, under supervision of the director. The expense of such supervision shall be paid by the defendant. The bond shall be returned to the defendant on representation to the court by the director that the carcass, meat, or product involved is no longer in violation of this chapter or rules adopted pursuant thereto, and that all expenses incidental to the action have been paid by the defendant.

Cite as R.C. § 919.06

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.07 Sign to be displayed by establishment.

No proprietor, manager, or person in charge of a meat market, hotel, restaurant, lunchroom, cafeteria, or eating house, industrial, fraternal, educational, or otherwise, in which meals are served to the public, shall therein sell, serve or use in cooking for consumption by the public, on or off the premises, horse meat or horse meat food products, without posting a sign in a conspicuous place, which shall be white and not less than twelve by eighteen inches in size, upon which shall be printed in plain black Roman letters, "Horse Meat Sold Here" or "Horse Meat Served Here" whichever is applicable.

Cite as R.C. § 919.07

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.08 Suspension or revocation of license because of unsanitary conditions.

Any establishment or place where horse meat or horse meat food products are processed, handled, transported, sold, exposed, or offered for sale at retail for human food shall be maintained and operated in a sanitary manner to prevent contamination of the food commodities that might render them unfit for human consumption. If such an establishment is maintained or operated in an unsanitary manner that causes or permits contamination of the food commodities, rendering them unfit for human consumption, the person responsible for the maintenance or operation violates this chapter or rules adopted pursuant thereto, and his license to operate the establishment may be suspended or revoked as provided in this chapter. The period of suspension of a license to operate any horse meat or horse meat food processing establishment that is caused by violation of the sanitary provisions of this chapter or rules adopted pursuant thereto, relating either to the unsanitary condition of the establishment or to the unsanitary condition of any horse carcass, horse meat, or horse meat food product processed therein, shall be contingent upon the correction by the licensee of the causes for the suspension.

Cite as R.C. § 919.08

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.09 Investigations - examination of samples.

The director of agriculture shall make all necessary investigations pertinent to enforcement of this chapter, and for that purpose shall have access at all reasonable hours to any building, room, vehicle, ship, or other premises in which any horse carcass, horse meat, or horse meat food product is processed, packed, transported, sold, exposed, or offered for sale at retail. No person shall deny access to the director or hinder, thwart, or defeat any investigation by misrepresentation or concealment of facts or conditions.

The director may secure samples or specimens of any horse carcass, horse meat, or horse meat food product upon paying or offering to pay therefor and shall make an examination or an analysis of the sample in order to determine whether there has been or exists any violation of this chapter or rules adopted pursuant thereto.

Cite as R.C. § 919.09

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.10 Adulteration - definition.

Any horse meat food product is adulterated if it includes any ingredient which is foreign to or in excess of standards prescribed for the product in regulations promulgated by the director of agriculture; any artificial coloring, flavoring, chemicals, or preservatives not approved in regulations promulgated by the director; any meat of other animals; or any substance unfit for human food or dangerous to human health.

The director may seize and destroy, without compensation to the owner, any unlawful ingredient, chemical, preservative, or product to which any unlawful ingredient has been added.

Cite as R.C. § 919.10

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.11 Prohibitions - labeling of horse meat fed to animals.

No person shall mix horse meat with the parts of any other animal, sell, offer, or expose for sale any such mixture for human consumption within this state.

No person shall sell for human consumption the tongue, diaphragm, heart, esophagus, lips, ears, or glands of a horse, nor shall these parts of a horse be included in a horse meat food product intended for human consumption.

Any horse carcass, horse meat, or horse meat food product sold, offered, or exposed for sale, which is unlabeled as to use or is labeled as pet or animal food, shall be decharacterized with charcoal or green food dye. Suggestive pictures or designs on the label shall be considered as indicative of the use of the product. However, any horse meat or horse meat food product whose label bears an approved inspection stamp, or which is packed in hermetically sealed, retort processed, conventional retail sized container, is labeled as pet or animal food, and is licensed under sections 923.41 to 923.55 , inclusive, and 923.99 of the Revised Code, need not be decharacterized.

Cite as R.C. § 919.11

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.12 Records of sales.

Any person who sells at retail any horse carcass or horse meat for human consumption in a lot exceeding five pounds in weight in any one day to any individual shall make and keep for one year from the date of sale a record of each sale including the date of sale, the name and address of the purchaser, and the quantity sold. All such records shall be open for inspection by the director of agriculture during any regular business hours.

Cite as R.C. § 919.12

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.13 Exemption of persons subject to other inspection service.

No person responsible for the operation of any establishment is subject to this chapter or rules adopted pursuant thereto, if he operates the establishment under the jurisdiction of the federal inspection service, a district health department inspection service, or a municipal inspection service that has been approved by the director of agriculture and has been designated as an exempted inspection service.

Cite as R.C. § 919.13

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.14 Application for exempted inspection service status.

The responsible head of any federal inspection service, district health department inspection service, or municipal inspection service may make application annually to the director of agriculture for designation of the organization which he represents as being qualified for an exempted inspection service status if he furnishes all pertinent information required by the director. If the director determines that the applicant for such exempted inspection service status represents an organization which operates under authority and maintains an inspection service equal to or more rigid than required by sections 919.01 to 919.20 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, or in regulations pursuant thereto, in respect to labeling, stamping, sanitation, wholesomeness, adulteration, standards, and sales record keeping, such organization shall be so designated. Such approval shall be valid to and including the thirtieth day of June following date of designation.

Cite as R.C. § 919.14

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.15 Administrative rules.

The director of agriculture shall enforce this chapter and, subject to the provisions of Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, may adopt such reasonable rules pertaining to commodity labeling, sanitary standards for the processing of horse meat, or the sanitary condition and wholesomeness of horse meat food products intended for human consumption, or otherwise, as are considered necessary to carry this chapter into full effect.

Cite as R.C. § 919.15

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.16 Possession as evidence of sale - exception.

Possession by any person of any horse carcass, dressed horse meat, or any horse meat food product constitutes prima-facie evidence that such commodity is for sale; provided, that this section does not apply to any person who has purchased dressed horse meat or horse meat food products for his personal consumption.

Cite as R.C. § 919.16

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.17 Prosecution proceedings.

The attorney general or the prosecuting attorney or city director of law to whom the director of agriculture reports any violation of sections 919.01 to 919.20 of the Revised Code, shall institute prosecution proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction in which the defendant resides, where his licensed place of business is located, or where the violation occurs.

This section does not require the director to report any information concerning a suspected violation for prosecution whenever the director believes the public interest will be served adequately by a notice of warning.

In prosecutions arising incidental to the enforcement of such sections, neither the director nor any of his authorized assistants, deputies, or agents, shall be required to advance or secure costs.

Cite as R.C. § 919.17

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.18 Co-operation with federal food and drug administration.

The director of agriculture may act in conjunction with the federal food and drug administration in the regulation of the movement and sale of any horse carcass, horse meat, or horse meat food product intended for human food which may affect the health and welfare of this state.

Cite as R.C. § 919.18

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.19 Moneys collected credited to general revenue fund.

All registration fees collected under sections 919.01 to 919.18 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, shall be paid to the director of agriculture and deposited by him with the treasurer of state to the credit of the general revenue fund.

Fifty per cent of all fines collected for violations of sections 919.01 to 919.18 , inclusive, and section 919.20 , of the Revised Code, shall be paid to the treasurer of state to the credit of the general revenue fund. The remaining fifty per cent of such fines shall be paid into the general revenue fund of the political subdivision in which they were assessed.

Cite as R.C. § 919.19

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.20 Refrigeration with other foods.

No proprietor of a market shall place horse meat or a horse meat food product, which is intended as a pet or animal food, in a refrigerated compartment with food for human consumption.

Cite as R.C. § 919.20

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.21 Effect of child support default on license.

On receipt of a notice pursuant to section 3123.43 of the Revised Code, the director of agriculture shall comply with sections 3123.41 to 3123.50 of the Revised Code and any applicable rules adopted under section 3123.63 of the Revised Code with respect to a license issued pursuant to this chapter.

Cite as R.C. § 919.21

Effective Date: 06-20-1994

919.99 Penalty.

Whoever violates sections 919.01 to 919.20 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Cite as R.C. § 919.99

Effective Date: 06-20-1994