FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 25, 2016
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
California Retail Food Code Legislation Signed by Governor
Huff Measure Brings New Hope to Californians with Food Allergies
SACRAMENTO: Legislation introduced by Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) to amend California’s Retail Food Code (CalCode) to comply with recent changes made to the federal model code has been signed into law by the Governor. Senator Huff introduced SB 1067 in response to actions taken by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update the “Model” Food Code in 2013.
The model or federal food code is a guideline for safeguarding public health and ensuring food is pure, has no inferior added substances and is honestly presented when offered to the consumer. It represents FDA’s best advice for a uniform system of provisions that address the safety and protection of food offered at retail and in food service.
“I’m pleased that the Governor agrees that our food code serves as a guarantee to California families that our food is safe to consume,” said Senator Huff. “Most illnesses caused by consuming food are preventable to begin with. That’s why federal and state food codes exist. They are models for how food should be handled and prepared before it is served.”
In addition to conforming state and federal food codes, SB 1067 will also provide additional protections to those who suffer from life-threatening food allergies. It will require the person in charge of food providers to have adequate knowledge of food-related allergies and to provide proper education for employees. Food, Allergy and Research Education (FARE) estimates that 15 million Americans suffer from life-threatening food allergies.
Foodborne illnesses in the United States are a major cause of personal distress, preventable illness, death, and avoidable economic burden. A 2011 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that foodborne diseases cause approximately 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the United States each year. The annual cost of foodborne illness in terms of pain and suffering, reduced productivity and medical costs are estimated to be $10 — $83 billion.
“States are responsible for updating their own codes or regulations to comply with action taken at the federal level,” said Senator Huff. “SB 1067 will help provide this clarity. It’s important that restaurant and retail food service managers and employees be aware of the serious nature of food allergies during the food preparation and service process.”
SB 1067 was sponsored by the California Retail Food Safety Coalition (CRFSC), a coalition of over 62 local environmental health officials represented by the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health, the Food and Drug Branch of the Department of Health Services and various segments of the retail food service industry.
Senator Huff represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.