BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                          Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D., Chair

          BILL NO:                    SB 746    
          |AUTHOR:        |Wolk                                           |
          |VERSION:       |February 27, 2015                              |
          |HEARING DATE:  |April 22, 2015 |               |               |
          |               |               |               |               |
          |CONSULTANT:    |Vince Marchand                                 |
           SUBJECT  :  Food safety:  grist mills
          SUMMARY  :  Exempts from the requirements to register as a food  
          processing facility, and to obtain a permit as a retail food  
          facility, a historic water-driven grist mill, effective January  
          1, 2018, in order to allow grain to be milled, packaged and sold  
          at the mill without having to meet the requirements of a food  
          processing facility or a retail food facility.

          Existing law:
          1.Prohibits any person from engaging in the manufacture,  
            packing, or holding of any processed food unless the person  
            has a valid registration as a food processing facility from  
            the Department of Public Health (DPH).

          2.Exempts from the food processing facility registration  
            requirements any person whose manufacturing, packing, or  
            holding of processed food is limited solely to temporarily  
            holding processed foods for up to seven days for further  
            transport if the foods are not potentially hazardous foods, or  
            to any person whose manufacturing, packing, or holding of  
            processed food is limited solely to certain activities that  
            are authorized under other specified permits and licenses.

          3.Prohibits any food facility from being open for business  
            without a valid permit from DPH or the local health agency  
            having jurisdiction over the food facility.

          4.Defines "food facility" as an operation that stores, prepares,  
            packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human  
            consumption at the retail level. 


          SB 746 (Wolk)                                       Page 2 of ?
          5.Establishes various requirements that food facilities must  
            meet, including requiring that the interior floor, sides, and  
            top of the food holding area to be constructed of a smooth,  
            washable, impervious material capable of withstanding frequent  

          6.Exempts from the definition of "food facility" certain  
            specified entities, including premises operated by a producer  
            that sells only whole produce grown by the producer, provided  
            the sales are conducted on premises controlled by the  
          This bill:
          1.Exempts from the requirement to register as a food processing  
            facility, beginning January 1, 2018, the milling, packaging,  
            and selling of grain produced and sold at a water-driven grist  
            mill on the National Register of Historic Places, provided  
            best management practices suitable for a historic water-driven  
            grist mill are followed for the processing and handling of the  
            product, the flour is identified as being produced in a  
            historic mill using traditional methods, and the product meets  
            applicable federal food adulteration purity standards.

          2.Exempts from the definition of food facility, beginning  
            January 1, 2018, for purposes of law requiring food facilities  
            to obtain a permit from DPH or the local health agency having  
            jurisdiction over the food facility, a water-driven grist mill  
            that is on the National Register of Historic Places and that  
            has onsite sales of grain that is milled at the facility.

          3.Makes various legislative findings and declarations related to  
            the recent moratorium on the closure of state parks and the  
            use of innovative tools to stabilize the Department of Parks  
            and Recreation (DPR) and broaden its financial base, and that  
            a more entrepreneurial and robust revenue-generation strategy  
            must be established for the state parks.

          4.States the intent of the Legislature to encourage DPR and DPH  
            to consult with each other to develop and implement  
            additional, reasonable improvements designed to increase  
            public health security at the Bale Grist Mill State historic  
            Park, without impairing or adversely affecting historical,  
            cultural, or natural resources.



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          EFFECT  :  This bill has not been analyzed by a fiscal committee.
          COMMENTS  :
          1.Author's statement.  According to the author, in 2011, as part  
            of the Governor's efforts to cut state expenditures, the Bale  
            Grist Mill and 69 other state parks were selected for closure.  
            The Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District, in  
            partnership with the Napa Valley State Parks Association, is  
            working to keep the mill open to the public. Being able to  
            sell flour produced at the mill for human consumption is an  
            important element in generating the revenues needed to keep  
            this National Historic landmark open to the public.

          2.Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park.  The Bale Grist Mill  
            State Historic Park is located near St. Helena in Napa County.  
            According to its website, the water-powered mill was built in  
            1846. Both the mill and its 36-foot water wheel are protected  
            as a state historic landmark and have been partially restored.

          3.Double referral.  This bill was heard in the Senate Natural  
            Resources Committee on April 14, 2015, and passed with a 7-0  

          4.Support.  The Napa County Board of Supervisors (Napa County)  
            writes in support that the Bale Grist Mill is one of only two  
            remaining water-driven mills west of the Mississippi River.  
            Napa County states that the mill currently sells flour  
            produced at the mill, but it must be labeled as not fit for  
            human consumption because the mill is not registered as either  
            a retail food facility or a food processing facility. Napa  
            County cannot meet the standards for a retail food facility or  
            a food processing facility because the physical historic  
            construction of the mill makes it impossible to comply with  
            current codes. For example, wood floors are not allowed, the  
            porous grinding stone is not allowed, and contact between  
            grain/flour and the wood in the grain chutes and flour bins is  
            not allowed. Napa County supports this bill to allow the Bale  
            Grist Mill to be financially viable and not dependent on state  

          This bill is also supported by the Napa County Regional Park and  
            Open Space District and the City of Napa, which makes similar  
            arguments to Napa County.

          5.Prior legislation. This bill is nearly identical to SB 170  


          SB 746 (Wolk)                                       Page 4 of ?
            (Wolk) of 2014, which would have taken effect on January 1,  
            2016.  SB 170 was vetoed by the Governor, who stated:  
            "Exempting these products by January 1, 2016, is premature, as  
            no best management practices yet exist for historic  
            water-driven grist mills. I will direct the Department of  
            Public Health and the Department of Parks and Recreation to  
            continue working with proponents on this and other potential  
            solutions to help raise needed revenues."

          AB 1589 (Huffman), Chapter 533, Statutes of 2012, required DPR  
            to develop a plan to increase revenues at state parks,  
            appropriated $10 million in Proposition 84 general obligation  
            bond funds for the installation of revenue collection  
            equipment and other improvements at state parks, and  
            authorized taxpayers to voluntarily contribute to the state  
            park system through the income tax system.
          6.Should a special permit be required?  One of the provisions of  
            this bill adds a historic grist mill to the list of entities  
            exempted from the requirement to register as a food processing  
            facility. There are currently 10 exemptions listed in current  
            law, and each of these existing exemptions requires the entity  
            to have a specialized permit or license. For example, the  
            following entities are among those exempted from registering  
            as a food processing facility: a holder of a valid bottled  
            water or water vending machine license; a holder of a valid  
            cold storage license; a holder of a valid cannery license; a  
            holder of a valid winegrower's license or wine blender's  
            license; and a holder of a permit issued by a local health  
            department to operate a processing establishment that only  
            holds or warehouses processed food, under specified  
            conditions. The Legislature may wish to consider whether the  
            exemption proposed by this bill should follow the same form,  
            and require a permit to be issued to the grist mill by the  
            local health department.
          Support:  Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District  
                    Napa City Council
                    Napa County Board of Supervisors
          Oppose:   None received.


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