WSR 98-20-076

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

[Filed October 6, 1998, 9:11 a.m.]



Subject of Possible Rule Making: Food establishment inspection criteria, standards for licensing, and standards for determining compliance with food sanitation and safety laws.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 16.49.680, 19.32.030, 69.04.730, 69.07.020, and 69.10.055.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: For more than twenty years, the food safety program has inspected food processing operations to determine their compliance with chapters 69.04 RCW (intrastate commerce in food, drugs and cosmetics), chapter 69.07 RCW (the Food Processing Act), GMPs (current good manufacturing practices in manufacturing, packing or holding human food) and other sections of Title 21 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) - i.e. Acidified, low acid canned food and bottled water. In that time, the program has utilized the construction, sanitation, personnel practices and processing operation requirements of the GMPs and other sections of Title 21, and appropriate sections of chapter 69.04 RCW as criteria on which to measure compliance with these regulations. After the 1995 Regulatory Reform Act went into effect, the department's administrative regulations program and the assistant attorney generals assigned to the program advised us that the criteria and procedures by which we license facilities and take enforcement action on facilities needed to be put into rule. Chapter 34.05 RCW also requires that the agency not be arbitrary when taking enforcement action. Having the criteria in rule insures that we use a fair and equitable process when taking licensing facilities, taking enforcement action, assessing penalties, etc.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Food and Drug Administration and State Department of Health (DOH), Division of Drinking Water (DDW). FDA will be kept informed on the rules progress through partnership meetings and advisory committee meetings. Will coordinate with DOH, DDW through the noncommunity water system task force.

Process for Developing New Rule: Food Safety Advisory Committee, Dairy Inspection Program Advisory Committee, and other stakeholder and focus group meetings.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by calling, writing or faxing Mike Donovan, Compliance Program Manager, Food Safety Program, Washington State Department of Agriculture, 1111 Washington Street, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1883, fax (360) 902-2087.

September 29, 1998

Michael J. Donovan

Food Safety Program Manager

Legislature Code Reviser

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office