Home Food & Drink 2022 State Food Safety Enacted Legislation

2022 State Food Safety Enacted Legislation

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2022 State Food Safety Enacted Legislation

Editor’s Note: Doug Farquhar, J.D., is the governmental affairs director at the Denver-based National Environmental Health Association (NEHA). He has once again exclusively provided Food Safety News with a detailed report on food safety developments in the 50 states. He developed his system for tracking state legislative action during his tenure with The National Conference of State Legislatures ( NCSL). We are delighted to share his most recent findings with our readers.

By Doug Farquhar, J.D.

Of the 348 bills introduced in the 2021–2022 legislative sessions regarding food safety, 69 were passed into law. 

Almost every state legislature introduced bills related to food and food safety, and legislatures in 38 states introduced food safety legislation. California and New York enacted the most new laws.

The foremost food safety issue was related to retail foods, with 53 bills introduced and three approved to date. Bills related to meat were the second most prevalent issue, with 51 bills introduced and seven passed to date. 

Food freedom such as cottage foods and microenterprise kitchens, was the third most popular issue with 45 bills introduced but with the most enacted at nine bills. 

Other popular issues related to food included food safety with 29 introduced and 2 passed; nutrition with 18 introduced and one passed; restaurants and food facilities with 26 introduced and five passed; food deserts with 30 introduced and two passed; and mobile food trucks with 6 submitted with none passed.

Specific Food and Food Safety Legislation

Food freedom

Laws that exempt particular food production or food sales from state regulatory oversight use different terms depending on the angle of the specific exemption. These terms include cottage foods, microenterprise kitchens, and food freedom. Furthermore, allowances were introduced for raw milk that provides exemptions from regulatory oversight. 

All these exemptions are considered food freedom bills — laws that provide regulatory relief from food safety oversight. Although each law varies, they all provide an exemption from state or local oversight of food safety, allowing unregulated foods to be sold to the public.

In 2022, 45 bills were introduced related to food freedom, including expanding sales caps on cottage food laws, expanding access to raw milk dairy products, and allowing private homes to prepare, sell, and serve foods. Of these, nine bills were enacted into law.

South Carolina enacted SB 506 (Act No. 208), which amends the state’s home-based food production law to allow non-potentially hazardous food to be sold directly to retail stores through online sales or mail orders directly to consumers. The bill also allows labeling provided by the Department of Health and Environmental Control instead of requiring the home address of the producer.

Maryland’s HB 178 (Chap. 406) increases the annual revenue on cottage food operations from $25,000 to $50,000.

Utah amended its microenterprise home kitchen law (HB 292).

The Tennessee legislature enacted two bills related to food freedom. The Tennessee Food Freedom Act SB 693/HB 813 (Pub. Chap. 862) allows vendors of homemade food products to sell without permitting or licensing. Its purpose is to recognize the right of individuals to produce, procure, and consume homemade foods of their choice free from unnecessary and anti-competitive regulations and to foster small businesses, innovation, and economic growth.

South Dakota passed HB 1322 (H.J. 688) to expand its Food Freedom Law to allow for the direct sale of certain home-produced or home-processed foods and food products.

The Georgia legislature enacted the Georgia Raw Dairy Act (HB 1175).

Kansas enacted SB 346, which allows for the on-farm retail sale of milk and milk products. The bill authorizes the state secretary of agriculture to declare an imminent health hazard in cases emerging from on-farm milk sales. The bill also extends specific milk and dairy license fees and establishes certain standards for milk.

New Hampshire passed H.B. 95 (Chap. 6), allowing for selling ice cream or frozen yogurt made from raw milk without a milk producer-distributor license.

The Indiana legislature enacted HB 1149 (Pub. L. 49), which specifies the requirements for preparing and selling food products as a home-based vendor. The bill reorganizes provisions concerning the sale of certain food products by an individual vendor at a farmer’s market or roadside stand. It allows the sale of poultry, rabbits, and eggs at a farmer’s market or roadside stand if the vendor complies with specific requirements.

Kansas enacted SB 346, which allows for the on-farm retail sale of milk and milk products. The bill authorizes the state secretary of agriculture to declare an imminent health hazard in cases emerging from on-farm milk sales. The bill also extends specific milk and dairy license fees and establishes certain standards for milk.

New Hampshire passed H.B. 95 (Chap. 6) that allows for the sale of ice cream or frozen yogurt made from raw milk without a milk producer-distributor license.

The Indiana legislature enacted HB 1149 (Pub. L. 49), which specifies the requirements for preparing and selling food products as a home-based vendor. 

In Maine, the legislature amended the state’s Food Sovereignty Act (HP 519; LD 574) to recognize that a county may adopt ordinances regarding direct producer-to-consumer transactions within one or more unorganized territories within that county. The state food safety agency must recognize such an ordinance by not enforcing those laws or implementing rules concerning those direct producer-to-consumer transactions governed by the ordinance.

Maine also amended its constitution regarding the right to food. The amendment states that “[a]ll individuals have a natural, inherent, and inalienable right to save and exchange seeds and the right to grow, raise, harvest, produce, and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, and sale of raw milk and raw milk products for human consumption.”

The bill addresses standards, labeling, and adulteration of raw milk to authorize and regulate the production, handling, transporting, safety, cleanliness, and health for these products and the animals used to produce them. The bill authorizes the state commissioner of agriculture to enforce these standards. For certain food products by an individual vendor at a farmers market or roadside stand, the requirements for preparing and selling food products as a home-based vendor. This bill reorganizes provisions concerning the sale of poultry, rabbits, and eggs at a farmer’s market or roadside stand if the vendor complies with specific requirements.

Food Safety and Food Codes

State legislatures introduced 40 bills related to food safety and/or food codes in 2022; however, only three passed.

California food code changes are:

  • The law allows limited food preparation at charitable events and defines retail food requirements for a charitable feeding operation, and allows mobile food facilities or temporary food facilities to use wood-burning ovens when operating as part of a community event.
  • It allows satellite operations that are temporary in nature, such as guacamole stations that are common practice throughout the state to have a food service operation inside food facilities, like grocery stores.
  • It authorizes the use of double gloving and eliminates the need for the industry to obtain a variance. for this widely used practice by adding it into the description of approved handwashing and glove-use procedures in the CRFC.
  • It requires a food facility that packages potentially-hazardous foods using a cook-chill or sous Vide process to meet the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code.
  • It proposes to allow local enforcement agencies to exempt pushcarts from the ventilation. requirements of the CRFC since pushcarts are primarily outdoors and venting is the same as the ambient air.
  • It proposes that to advertise to the public (through websites, and social media) platforms, newspapers, newsletters, or other public announcements), a cottage food operator must include the following on the advertisement: the county of approval, permit, or registration number and a statement that the food prepared is “Made in a Home Kitchen or” or “Repackaged in a Home Kitchen.” These changes are necessary to verify that the operation has been permitted and to trace back any unsafe product.
  • It clarifies that fishers can process and sell packaged fish from their booth, subject to prescribed safe handling requirements.
  • It provides local enforcement agencies flexibility for plan check requirements for limited-service charitable feeding organizations.

Other bills include New York AB 10607, which establishes a food supply working group; North Carolina HB 735 that authorizes the commission for public health to adopt rules incorporating all or part of the most the recent edition of the FDA Food Code; and New Hampshire SB 133 that establishes program rules within the Department of Health and Human Services for sanitary production and distribution of food.

Meat and Cell-Based Meat

Legislatures enacted 12 bills regarding meat in 2022. For this session, the foremost issue was regulatory streamlining, with bills passed in California, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Virginia. Cell-based meat (i.e., meat grown in labs) was the foremost issue during the 2021 session.

Arkansas S.B. 22 (Act 14) funds the Beef Council for 2022–2023.

In California, the legislature enacted SB 815 (Chap. 392) that extends to January 1, 2027, provisions in current law that allow the California Department of Food and Agriculture to collect fees for initial licensing and renewal of licenses for livestock meat inspectors, poultry meat inspectors, and processing inspectors. These provisions were set to expire on January 1, 2022.

The Iowa legislature enacted SF 2245, which provides a personal use exemption from state licensing for a person who slaughters, processes, or prepares livestock or poultry of the person’s raising, exclusively for the person’s household, nonpaying guests, or nonpaying employees.

Illinois enacted SB 3838 (Public Act 102-0862), which enables a farmer who sells meat, poultry, eggs, or dairy products from the farmer’s farm to be exempt from licensing by the farmer’s local health department under specified conditions.

In Mississippi, the legislature enacted HB 1130, which separates the combined Seafood Dealer and Processor License into two separate licenses.

The North Dakota legislature passed a resolution (HCR 3024) on cell-based meats. This concurrent the resolution urges Congress to amend federal law, policies, and regulations related to food safety and labeling to allow for standards and criteria to differentiate food products derived from animal products from those derived from laboratory-produced, cell-cultured meat products.

Nebraska LB 324 changes provisions of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law.

The legislature in New Hampshire enacted HB 437, which establishes a committee to study the shortage of animal slaughter and meat processing facilities and the implementation of a meat inspection program in the state.

The Virginia legislature enacted three bills relating to meat. HB 830 and SB 726 relate to slaughter and meat processing facilities. These bills encourage, expand, and promote the development of slaughter and meat processing facilities through strategic planning and financial incentive programs. They also direct the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop a 5-year strategic plan to increase the total combined throughput capacity of slaughter and meat processing facilities.

Virginia SB 358 (Chap. 406) relates to the seafood industry. This bill directs the governor or the secretary of labor to designate a liaison to address seafood industry workforce needs by 1) promoting the interests of seafood industry employees and employers; 2) assisting employees and employers in understanding the rights and processes available to them, including those related to temporary worker visas; 3) answering inquiries; 4) providing referrals to public and private agencies upon request; and 5) reporting annually on the liaison’s activities to the House Committees on Commerce and Energy and Agriculture.Retail Food and Food Facilities.

Legislatures introduced 88 bills related to retail food, food facilities, and restaurants during 2022 legislative session. Bills were enacted in Illinois, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In Georgia, the legislature enacted SB 396 (Act 600), which renames the State Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to the Georgia Grown Farm to Food Bank (F2FB) Program. This bill requires food procured under the SNAP program to be Georgia grown, annual reporting to identify and list Georgia-grown farmers who supplied food, and authorizes persons who provide services to the SNAP program or the Department of Agriculture to receive food from the program if qualified as a recipient.

New York SB 1630 (Chap. 693) requires third-party delivery services to have a valid agreement with a merchant before they advertise, promote, or sell the merchant’s products on their platform, and prohibits the inclusion of an indemnity clause in such agreements.

The New Hampshire legislature enacted HB 539 (Chap. 144), which requires a food delivery service to agree with a food service establishment or food retail store before offering delivery aervices.

Food Deserts

During the 2022 legislative session, 30 bills were introduced regarding food deserts, a vast increase over past sessions when no bills on this topic were introduced. 

Legislatures in Missouri, Mississippi, New York, and West Virginia all introduced and reviewed legislation related to food deserts; however, only bills in Maine and Maryland were passed.

The legislature in Maryland enacted HB 680 (Chap. 338) that authorizes Baltimore County to grant a property tax credit toward supermarket corporations that complete the construction of a new supermarket or any substantial renovation of an existing supermarket located in a food desert retail incentive area.

In Maine, the legislature passed the Support Farms and Addressed Food Insecurity bill (LD 691, Chap. 468). This bill provides incentives to federal food and nutrition assistance program participants to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables. The bill also supports outreach for the administration of programs that offer nutrition incentives to federal food and nutrition assistance program participants.

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