January 26, 2021
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CS/HB 69

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to tomato food safety; amending s. 500.03,
3F.S.; revising the term "food establishment" to include
4tomato repackers for purposes of the Florida Food Safety
5Act; creating s. 500.70, F.S.; defining terms; requiring
6minimum food safety standards for producing, harvesting,
7packing, and repacking tomatoes; authorizing the
8Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to inspect
9tomato farms, greenhouses, and packinghouses or repackers;
10providing penalties; authorizing the department to
11establish good agricultural practices and best management
12practices for the tomato industry by rule; providing a
13presumption that tomatoes introduced into commerce are
14safe for human consumption under certain circumstances;
15providing exemptions; authorizing the department to adopt
16rules; amending s. 570.07, F.S.; authorizing the
17department to adopt best management practices for
18agricultural production and food safety; amending s.
19570.48, F.S.; revising duties of the Division of Fruit and
20Vegetables for tomato food safety inspections; providing
21an effective date.
23Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
25     Section 1.  Paragraph (n) of subsection (1) of section
26500.03, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
27     500.03  Definitions; construction; applicability.-
28     (1)  For the purpose of this chapter, the term:
29     (n)  "Food establishment" means any factory, food outlet,
30or any other facility manufacturing, processing, packing,
31holding, or preparing food, or selling food at wholesale or
32retail. The term does not include any business or activity that
33is regulated under chapter 509 or chapter 601. The term includes
34tomato packinghouses and repackers but does not include any
35other establishments that pack fruits and vegetables in their
36raw or natural states, including those fruits or vegetables that
37are washed, colored, or otherwise treated in their unpeeled,
38natural form before they are marketed.
39     Section 2.  Section 500.70, Florida Statutes, is created to
41     500.70  Tomato food safety standards; inspections;
42penalties; tomato good agricultural practices; tomato best
43management practices.-
44     (1)  As used in this section, the term:
45     (a)  "Field packing" means the packing of tomatoes on a
46tomato farm or in a tomato greenhouse into containers for sale
47for human consumption without transporting the tomatoes to a
49     (b)  "Packing" or "repacking" means the packing of tomatoes
50into containers for sale for human consumption. The term
51includes the sorting or separating of tomatoes into grades and
52sizes. The term also includes field packing.
53     (c)  "Producing" means the planting, growing, or
54cultivating of tomatoes on a tomato farm or in a tomato
55greenhouse for sale for human consumption.
56     (2)  The department may adopt rules establishing food
57safety standards to safeguard the public health and promote the
58public welfare by protecting the consuming public from injury
59caused by the adulteration or the microbiological, chemical, or
60radiological contamination of tomatoes. The rules must be based
61on federal requirements, available scientific research,
62generally accepted industry practices, or recommendations of
63food safety professionals. The rules shall apply to the
64producing, harvesting, packing, and repacking of tomatoes for
65sale for human consumption by a tomato farm, tomato greenhouse,
66or tomato packinghouse or repacker in this state. The rules may
67include, but are not limited to, standards for:
68     (a)  Registration with the department of a person who
69produces, harvests, packs, or repacks tomatoes in this state who
70does not hold a food permit issued under s. 500.12.
71     (b)  Proximity of domestic animals and livestock to the
72production areas for tomatoes.
73     (c)  Food safety related use of water for irrigation during
74production and washing of tomatoes after harvest.
75     (d)  Use of fertilizers.
76     (e)  Cleaning and sanitation of containers, materials,
77equipment, vehicles, and facilities, including storage and
78ripening areas.
79     (f)  Health, hygiene, and sanitation of employees who
80handle tomatoes.
81     (g)  Training and continuing education of a person who
82produces, harvests, packs, or repacks tomatoes in this state,
83and the person's employees who handle tomatoes.
84     (h)  Labeling and recordkeeping, including standards for
85identifying and tracing tomatoes for sale for human consumption.
86     (3)(a)  The department may inspect tomato farms, tomato
87greenhouses, tomato packinghouses, repacking locations, or any
88vehicle being used to transport or hold tomatoes to ensure
89compliance with the applicable provisions of this chapter and
90the rules adopted under this chapter.
91     (b)  The department may impose an administrative fine not
92to exceed $5,000 per violation, or issue a written notice or
93warning under s. 500.179, against a person who violates any
94applicable provision of this section or any rule adopted under
95this section.
96     (4)(a)  The department may adopt rules establishing tomato
97good agricultural practices and tomato best management practices
98for the state's tomato industry based on applicable federal
99requirements, available scientific research, generally accepted
100industry practices, or recommendations of food safety
102     (b)  A person who documents compliance with the
103department's rules, tomato good agricultural practices, and
104tomato best management practices is presumed to introduce
105tomatoes into the stream of commerce that are safe for human
106consumption, unless the department identifies noncompliance
107through inspections.
108     (5)  Subsections (2) and (4) do not apply to tomatoes sold
109by the grower on the premises at which the tomatoes are grown or
110at a local farmers' market, if the quantity of tomatoes sold
111does not exceed two 25-pound boxes per customer.
112     (6)  The department may adopt rules pursuant to ss.
113120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.
114     Section 3.  Subsection (10) of section 570.07, Florida
115Statutes, is amended to read:
116     570.07  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
117functions, powers, and duties.-The department shall have and
118exercise the following functions, powers, and duties:
119     (10)  To act as adviser to producers and distributors, when
120requested, and to assist them in the economical and efficient
121distribution of their agricultural products, and to encourage
122cooperative effort among producers to gain economical and
123efficient production of agricultural products, and to adopt
124rules establishing comprehensive best management practices for
125agricultural production and food safety.
126     Section 4.  Paragraph (e) of subsection (2) of section
127570.48, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
128     570.48  Division of Fruit and Vegetables; powers and
129duties; records.-The duties of the Division of Fruit and
130Vegetables include, but are not limited to:
131     (2)
132     (e)  Performing tomato food safety inspections under s.
133500.70 on tomato farms, in tomato greenhouses, and in tomato
134packinghouses and repackers.
135     Section 5.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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