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Food Safety Not a Likely Hot Topic for 2015 Legislatures

From Food Safety News

State legislatures in California, Montana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Maine have already gaveled their 2015 sessions to order, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Legislatures in 42 states, five territories and the District of Columbia kick off their 2015 sessions sometime this month.

But food-safety topics often targeted by state lawmakers since 2010 may not be getting as much attention in 2015 as they did previously. Food safety did not make the 2015 list of “hot issues” prepared by NCSL analysts.

In Montana, where the biennial legislative session also got underway on Monday, no food-safety bills have been introduced or even drafted. However, according to a draft bill, Big Sky Country lawmakers may call for a top-to-bottom review of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Nor does it appear that the Ohio Legislature, which also went into session on Monday, has anything on its food-safety agenda.

Maybe an early bill filing in Florida reveals what might pass for “food safety” legislation this year. Florida and Utah are the only two states that do not allow consumers to take beer home from craft breweries in so-called “growlers.”

Craft brewing is booming in Florida, with $432 million in sales in 2013 and 4,080 related jobs. Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he’ll sign the growler bill.

Craft brewing just might be on a roll. The waste product from the brewing process (known as “spent grain”), which is often fed to animals, was exempted from the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2014.

Read the full article here.