MONDAY MAY 15, 2006

After almost eight years of drafting and deliberations and 15 months of legislative review and nine sets of amendments, SB 144 authored by Senator George Runner (R-17) was signed into law on May 15, 2006.  The bill received strong bi-partisan support in both houses.

As the Governor’s signing message indicates, the California Retail Food Safety Act  (CalCode) represents the culmination of an extraordinary collaborative effort of the California Retail Food Safety Coalition (CRFSC) – a broad-based coalition of federal, state and local regulators and the retail food industry.

This comprehensive law is modeled on the federal Food Code and will accomplish a number of important public health objectives, including:

  • Promotion of uniformity and consistency in retail food safety enforcement;
  • Affording greater protection of highly susceptible populations, including children at school and community and elderly care facility clients;
  • Ensuring that food safety regulation is based on best available science; and
  • Facilitating understanding and compliance of laws through consolidation of statutory provisions.

The full text of the enrolled bill may may be viewed here | View Bill History here.

Below is the Governor’s SB 144 Signing Message

To the Members of the California State Senate:

California foods are what make this state a great place to live and visit. Millions of

people eat in California restaurants and food facilities every day – it is a thriving and

important sector of our state’s economy. Protecting the safety of California’s retail

food is critical to ensuring the health of consumers.

SB 144 represents a multi-year effort by a coalition of stakeholders with over 100

representatives from the retail food industry, local regulatory agencies, the California

Department of Education, the California Department of Health Services and the

California Department of Aging. Working together, this new law was crafted to ensure

that consumers are protected when they eat at retail food facilities.

SB 144 will better protect consumers of California and I am pleased to sign this bill.


Arnold Schwarzenegger