What Has the Coalition Accomplished? It is safe to say that the CRFSC has proven to be spectacularly successful?
This is due in large part to the fact that all of the participants in the process have always honored fully the underlying precept that there is a great deal of common interest among the different constituency groups (retail food service industry, local environmental health officials, and CDPH), and that it is possible to work cooperatively on those items on which all parties concur and acknowledge that there will continue to be disagreement on other issues. As a result of this basic operating philosophy, the CRFSC has each year introduced consensus legislation which in every case was enacted.
In some years, the CRFSC's legislative package was relatively modest in the sense that it did not contain significant substantive changes. In other years, however, the CRFSC legislation set forth a consensus policy involving changes that reflected major positive shifts in public policy. For example, in 1999, the CRFSC legislation including a requirement that each food facility have its own certified individual to be responsible for the facility's compliance with good food safety practices.
An additional benefit resulting from the formation of the CRFSC has been the fact that it serves as a body before which questions or disputes regarding the manner in which CalCode should be enforced can be presented and aired. A considerable number of conflicts which historically would have continued to cause problems and resulted in major controversies locally or at the statewide level have been considered and addressed in a manner that was acceptable to the interested parties. In some cases, the issue in question was resolved by means of an agreed-upon legislative change, while in other cases the problem was addressed in a less formal manner. For example, the CCDEH has developed and implemented an "Issues Resolution Process" by which questions and disputes concerning the proper interpretation of specific CalCode provisions can be discussed and addressed in a non-adversarial procedure.
Furthermore, the existence of the CRFSC over the past decade years has been a key factor in the undertaking by CCDEH and CDPH to develop standardized procedures for the conducting of inspections of food facilities. For example, this work resulted in the enactment of Senate Bill 180 in 2000, which provides for a uniform inspection and reporting mechanism.
The number of people interested in the CRFSC and wishing to participate in its activities has grown over time. This is due primarily to the fact that the CRFSC provides an open, inclusive forum in which issues can be aired and debated within an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation, without confrontation or judgment. This operating ethos is the reason that the coalition has been so successful in accomplishing its objectives.
2. The following bills were introduced and enacted in the years indicated:
- Senate Bill 396 (Chapter 552, Statutes of 1995)
- Assembly Bill 2349 (Chapter 1048, Statutes of 1996)
- Assembly Bill 268 (Chapter 228, Statutes of 1997)
- Assembly Bill 1978 (Chapter 720, Statutes of 1998)
- Assembly Bill 635 (Chapter 879, Statutes of 1999)
- Assembly Bill 1738 (Chapter 453, Statutes of 2003)
For 2005-2006, the Coalition has sponsored SB 144, which was signed into law on May 15, 2006.