BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
                          Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D., Chair

          BILL NO:                    AB 384    
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          |AUTHOR:        |Perea                                          |
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          |VERSION:       |February 18, 2015                              |
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          |HEARING DATE:  |July 8, 2015   |               |               |
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          |CONSULTANT:    |Vince Marchand                                 |
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           SUBJECT  :  Food safety.

           SUMMARY  :  Eliminates the January 1, 2016, sunset date on provisions of  
          law establishing a $100 food safety fee on registered food  
          processors, which supports education and training programs  
          related to food safety, thereby making this program permanent.
          
          Existing law:
          1)Requires every person engaged in the manufacture, packing, or  
            holding of any processed food to have a valid registration  
            from the Department of Public Health (DPH), establishes a fee  
            schedule for food registration permits based on the size of  
            the facility and the number of employees, and requires this  
            registration to be renewed annually.

          2)Requires every person who is engaged in the manufacture,  
            packing, or holding of processed food to pay a food safety fee  
            of $100 to DPH in addition to the annual registration fee for  
            food processors.

          3)Requires the food safety fee revenue to be used by DPH to  
            assist in developing and implementing education and training  
            programs related to food safety. Requires these programs to be  
            developed in consultation with representatives of the food  
            processing industry, and to include education and training in  
            the prevention of microbial contamination.

          4)Exempts from the food safety fee requirements companies that  
            are exclusively involved in flour milling, dried bean  
            processing, or in the drying or milling of rice, or to those  
            individuals whose gross annual income from the registered food  
            processing business is $20,000 or less and DPH has determined  
            the fee would result in substantial economic hardship.







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          5)Sunsets the provisions of law establishing a food safety fee  
            on January 1, 2016.

          This bill: Eliminates the January 1, 2016, sunset date on  
          provisions of law which establish a $100 food safety fee that  
          registered food processors are required to pay in addition to  
          annual registration fees, and which require DPH to use the  
          resulting funds to develop and implement a food safety education  
          and training programs, thereby making this food safety program  
          permanent.

           FISCAL  
          EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee,  
          $640,000 in annual fee revenue (Food Safety Fund) will continue  
          to fund three DPH staff and activities in the food safety  
          training and education program.

           PRIOR  
          VOTES  :  
          
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          |Assembly Floor:                     |78 - 2                      |
          |------------------------------------+----------------------------|
          |Assembly Appropriations Committee:  |17 - 0                      |
          |------------------------------------+----------------------------|
          |Assembly Health Committee:          |17 - 0                      |
          |                                    |                            |
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          COMMENTS  :
          1)Author's statement.  According to the author, this bill is an  
            industry supported bill that makes permanent a fee that is  
            used by DPH to fund an education and training program for food  
            processors. This program deals with sanitation and  
            contamination prevention methods and has been proven to be  
            effective in reducing cross contamination by food processors.  
            Due to this success, the food processors want to make the  
            funding of the program permanent, so they have asked to have  
            the fee sunset date deleted.

          2)Background.  The food safety program that is being made  
            permanent by this bill was established by AB 1559 (Cardoza,  
            Chapter 727, Statutes of 1997). According to the Senate Health  
            and Human Services Committee analysis of that bill, AB 1559  








          AB 384 (Perea)                                      Page 3 of ?
          
          
            was sponsored by the California League of Food Processors  
            after several dramatic news stories highlighted the issue of  
            contaminated foods, and microbiological contamination had even  
            reached some "low-risk" food products leading to isolated  
            cases of illness. The $100 fee was not a new fee, but rather a  
            re-direction of an existing $100 fee that food processors had  
            been paying to the Department of Pesticide Regulation for  
            pesticide regulation and research. Recent training programs  
            offered by DPH's Food and Drug Branch include courses on food  
            labeling, current good manufacturing practices, and food  
            recalls. These courses and other courses are offered for free  
            to registered food processors.

          3)Prior legislation. AB 2612 (Committee on Agriculture, Chapter  
            393, Statutes of 2010), among other provisions, extended the  
            sunset on the food safety fee to January 1, 2016.

          AB 1081 (Mathews, Chapter 401, Statutes of 2005), among other  
            provisions, extended the sunset on the food safety fee to  
            January 1, 2011. 

          AB 2981 (Committee on Agriculture, Chapter 535, Statutes of  
            2002), among other provisions, extended the sunset on the food  
            safety fee to January 1, 2006.

          AB 1548 (Cardoza, Chapter 915, Statutes of 1999), among other  
            provisions, extended the sunset on the food safety fee to  
            January 1, 2003.

          AB 1559 (Cardoza, Chapter 727, Statutes of 1997), established  
            the food safety program within DPH, and required a $100 food  
            safety fee to be paid by food processors to support the food  
            safety program. 
          
          4)Support.  According to the author, this bill is sponsored by  
            the California League of Food Processors (CLFP), which states  
            the Food Industry Education and Training Program, administered  
            by DPH, provides food safety education and training to  
            registered food processors to reduce preventable foodborne  
            illnesses and injuries and to assist California food  
            processors in improving their operations. CLFP states that it  
            supports the $100 food safety fee that is assessed on food  
            processors to fund this program, and believes that it is a  
            successful collaboration between industry and government. The  
            California Chamber of Commerce states in support that the food  








          AB 384 (Perea)                                      Page 4 of ?
          
          
            safety program has been highly effective at providing  
            multi-lingual training to food processing workers on the  
            basics of food safety, sanitation, and best management  
            practices, and supports the purpose of this bill to remove the  
            sunset date which will allow DPH to continue collecting the  
            $100 food safety fee on a permanent basis. The American  
            Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees states in  
            support that in order to improve and ensure the health of  
            Californians, it is imperative to invest in education and  
            training programs related to food safety.
          
           SUPPORT AND OPPOSITION  :
          Support:  California League of Food Processors (sponsor)
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
          California Chamber of Commerce
          Morning Star Company
          
          Oppose:   None received
          
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