< Back to H.R. 4834 (107th Congress, 2001–2002)

Text of the Safe and Fair Enforcement and Recall for Meat and Poultry Act of 2002

This bill was introduced on May 23, 2002, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of May 23, 2002 (Introduced).

Download PDF

Source: GPO

HR 4834 IH

107th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4834

To amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act to provide for improved public health and food safety through enhanced enforcement.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MAY 23, 2002

Mr. BALDACCI introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

To amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act to provide for improved public health and food safety through enhanced enforcement.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Safe and Fair Enforcement and Recall for Meat and Poultry Act of 2002’.

SEC. 2. FOOD SAFETY ENFORCEMENT FOR MEAT AND MEAT FOOD PRODUCTS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) is amended--

      (1) by redesignating section 411 (21 U.S.C. 681) as section 414; and

      (2) by inserting after section 410 (21 U.S.C. 679a) the following:

‘SEC. 411. NOTIFICATION, NONDISTRIBUTION, AND RECALL OF ADULTERATED OR MISBRANDED ARTICLES.

    ‘(a) NOTIFICATION- A person (other than a household consumer) that has reason to believe that a carcass, part of a carcass, meat, or meat food product of cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, or other equines (referred to in this section as an ‘article’) transported, stored, distributed, or otherwise handled by the person is adulterated or misbranded shall immediately notify the Secretary, in such manner and by such means as the Secretary may by regulation promulgate, of the identity and location of the article.

    ‘(b) NONDISTRIBUTION AND RECALL-

      ‘(1) VOLUNTARY ACTIONS- On receiving the notification under subsection (a) or otherwise, if the Secretary finds that an article is adulterated or misbranded and that there is a reasonable probability that human consumption of the article would present a threat to public health, as determined by the Secretary, the Secretary shall provide all appropriate persons, as determined by the Secretary, that transported, stored, distributed, or otherwise handled the article with an opportunity to--

        ‘(A) cease distribution of the article;

        ‘(B) notify all persons transporting, storing, distributing, or otherwise handling the article, or to which the article has been transported, sold, distributed, or otherwise handled, to immediately cease distribution of the article;

        ‘(C) recall the article; and

        ‘(D) in consultation with the Secretary, provide notice to consumers to whom the article is, or may have been, distributed.

      ‘(2) MANDATORY ACTIONS- If the person refuses to or does not voluntarily take the actions described in paragraph (1) with respect to an article within the time and in the manner prescribed by the Secretary, the Secretary shall, by order, require the person to immediately--

        ‘(A) cease distribution of the article; and

        ‘(B) notify all persons transporting, storing, distributing, or otherwise handling the article, or to which the article has been transported, sold, distributed, or otherwise handled, to immediately cease distribution of the article.

      ‘(3) NOTICE TO CONSUMERS- The Secretary shall, as the Secretary considers necessary, provide notice to consumers to whom the article was, or may have been, distributed.

      ‘(4) NONDISTRIBUTION BY NOTIFIED PERSONS- A person transporting, storing, distributing, or otherwise handling the article, or to which the article has been transported, sold, distributed, or otherwise handled, that is notified under paragraph (1)(B) or (2)(B) shall immediately cease distribution of the article.

    ‘(c) INFORMAL HEARING ON ORDER-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall provide a person subject to an order under subsection (b) with an opportunity for an informal hearing (pursuant to such rules or regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe) on the actions required by the order and on why the article that is the subject of the order should not be recalled.

      ‘(2) TIMING- The Secretary shall hold the informal hearing as soon as practicable, but not later than 2 days, after the issuance of the order.

    ‘(d) RECALL OR OTHER ACTIONS-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- If, after providing an opportunity for an informal hearing under subsection (c), the Secretary determines that there is a reasonable probability that human consumption of the article that is the subject of an order under subsection (b) presents a threat to public health, the Secretary may--

        ‘(A) amend the order to require recall of the article or other appropriate action;

        ‘(B) specify a timetable during which the recall will occur;

        ‘(C) require periodic reports to the Secretary describing the progress of the recall; and

        ‘(D) provide notice to consumers to whom the article is, or may have been, distributed.

      ‘(2) VACATION OF ORDER- If, after providing an opportunity for an informal hearing under subsection (c), the Secretary determines that adequate grounds do not exist to continue the actions required by the order, the Secretary shall vacate the order.

    ‘(e) ADDITIONAL REMEDIES- The remedies provided in this section shall be in addition to any other remedies that may be available.

‘SEC. 412. REFUSAL OR WITHDRAWAL OF INSPECTION OF ESTABLISHMENTS.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may, for such period, or indefinitely, as the Secretary considers necessary

to carry out this Act, refuse to provide or withdraw inspection under title I with respect to an establishment if the Secretary determines, after opportunity for a hearing on the record is provided to the applicant for, or recipient of, inspection, that the applicant or recipient, or any person responsibly connected with the applicant or recipient (within the meaning of section 401), has committed a willful violation or repeated violations of this Act (including a regulation promulgated under this Act).

    ‘(b) DENIAL OR SUSPENSION OF INSPECTION PENDING HEARING- The Secretary may deny or suspend inspection under title I, pending opportunity for an expedited hearing, with respect to an action under subsection (a), if the Secretary determines that the denial or suspension is in the public interest to protect the health or welfare of consumers or to ensure the effective performance of an official duty under this Act.

    ‘(c) JUDICIAL REVIEW-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- A determination and order of the Secretary with respect to the refusal or withdrawal of inspection under this section shall be final and conclusive unless, not later than 30 days after the effective date of the order, the affected applicant for, or recipient of, inspection--

        ‘(A) files a petition for judicial review of the order; and

        ‘(B) simultaneously sends a copy of the petition by certified mail to the Secretary.

      ‘(2) REFUSAL OR WITHDRAWAL OF INSPECTION PENDING REVIEW- Inspection shall be refused or withdrawn as of the effective date of the order pending any judicial review of the order unless the Secretary directs otherwise.

      ‘(3) VENUE; RECORD- Judicial review of the order shall be--

        ‘(A) in--

          ‘(i) the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the applicant for, or recipient of, inspection resides or has its principal place of business; or

          ‘(ii) the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; and

        ‘(B) on the record on which the determination and order are based.

    ‘(d) ADDITIONAL REMEDIES- The remedies provided in this section shall be in addition to any other remedies that may be available.

‘SEC. 413. CIVIL PENALTIES.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL-

      ‘(1) ASSESSMENT- The Secretary may assess a civil penalty against a person that violates this Act (including a regulation promulgated or order issued under this Act) of not more than $100,000 for each violation.

      ‘(2) SEPARATE OFFENSES- Each violation and each day during which a violation continues shall be a separate offense.

      ‘(3) NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR HEARING- The Secretary shall not assess a civil penalty under this section against a person unless the person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing on the record before the Secretary in accordance with sections 554 and 556 of title 5, United States Code.

      ‘(4) AMOUNT- The amount of a civil penalty under this section shall be--

        ‘(A) assessed by the Secretary by written order, taking into account--

          ‘(i) the gravity of the violation;

          ‘(ii) the degree of culpability;

          ‘(iii) the size and type of the business; and

          ‘(iv) any history of prior offenses under this Act; and

        ‘(B) reviewed only in accordance with subsection (b).

    ‘(b) JUDICIAL REVIEW-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- An order assessing a civil penalty against a person under subsection (a) shall be final and conclusive unless the person--

        ‘(A) not later than 30 days after the effective date of the order, files a petition for judicial review in--

          ‘(i) the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the person resides or has its principal place of business; or

          ‘(ii) the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; and

        ‘(B) simultaneously sends a copy of the petition by certified mail to the Secretary.

      ‘(2) RECORD- The Secretary shall promptly file in the court a certified copy of the record on which the violation was found and the civil penalty assessed.

    ‘(c) COLLECTION ACTION FOR FAILURE TO PAY ASSESSMENT-

      ‘(1) REFERRAL TO ATTORNEY GENERAL- If a person fails to pay a civil penalty after the order assessing the civil penalty has become final and unappealable, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General.

      ‘(2) ACTION BY ATTORNEY GENERAL- The Attorney General shall bring a civil action to recover the amount of the civil penalty in United States district court.

      ‘(3) SCOPE OF REVIEW- In the collection action, the validity and appropriateness of the order of the Secretary imposing the civil penalty shall not be subject to review.

    ‘(d) REFUSAL OR WITHDRAWAL OF INSPECTION PENDING PAYMENT- If a person fails to pay the amount of a civil penalty after the order assessing the civil penalty becomes final and unappealable, the Secretary may refuse to provide or withdraw inspection under title I of the person until the civil penalty is paid or until the Secretary directs otherwise.

    ‘(e) PENALTIES IN LIEU OF OTHER ACTIONS- Nothing in this Act requires the Secretary to report for prosecution, or for the institution of an action, a violation of this Act if the Secretary believes that the public interest will be adequately served by assessment of a civil penalty.

    ‘(f) ADDITIONAL REMEDIES- The remedies provided in this section shall be in addition to any other remedies that may be available.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS-

      (1) Section 1 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(w) PERSON- The term ‘person’ means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business unit.’.

      (2) The Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) is amended--

        (A) by striking ‘person, firm, or corporation’ each place it appears and inserting ‘person’;

        (B) by striking ‘persons, firms, and corporations’ each place it appears and inserting ‘persons’; and

        (C) by striking ‘persons, firms, or corporations’ each place it appears and inserting ‘persons’.

SEC. 3. FOOD SAFETY ENFORCEMENT FOR POULTRY AND POULTRY FOOD PRODUCTS.

    The Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.) is amended--

      (1) in the first sentence of section 5(c)(1) (21 U.S.C. 454(c)(1))--

        (A) by striking ‘, by thirty days prior to the expiration of two years after enactment of the Wholesome Poultry Products Act,’; and

        (B) by striking ‘sections 1-4, 6-10, and 12-22 of this Act’ and inserting ‘sections 1 through 4, 6 through 10, 12 through 22, and 31 through 33’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

‘SEC. 31. NOTIFICATION, NONDISTRIBUTION, AND RECALL OF ADULTERATED OR MISBRANDED ARTICLES.

    ‘(a) NOTIFICATION- A person (other than a household consumer) that has reason to believe that any poultry or poultry product (referred to in this section as an ‘article’) transported, stored, distributed, or otherwise handled by the person is adulterated or misbranded shall immediately notify the Secretary, in such manner and by such means as the Secretary may by regulation promulgate, of the identity and location of the article.

    ‘(b) NONDISTRIBUTION AND RECALL-

      ‘(1) VOLUNTARY ACTIONS- On receiving notification under subsection (a) or otherwise, if the Secretary finds that an article is adulterated or misbranded and that there is a reasonable probability that human consumption of the article would present a threat to public health, as determined by the Secretary, the Secretary shall provide all appropriate persons, as determined by the Secretary, that transported, stored, distributed, or otherwise handled the article with an opportunity to--

        ‘(A) cease distribution of the article;

        ‘(B) notify all persons transporting, storing, distributing, or otherwise handling the article, or to which the article has been transported, sold, distributed, or otherwise handled, to immediately cease distribution of the article;

        ‘(C) recall the article; and

        ‘(D) in consultation with the Secretary, provide notice to consumers to whom the article is, or may have been, distributed.

      ‘(2) MANDATORY ACTIONS- If the person refuses to or does not voluntarily take the actions described in paragraph (1) with respect to an article within the time and in the manner prescribed by the Secretary, the Secretary shall, by order, require the person to immediately--

        ‘(A) cease distribution of the article; and

        ‘(B) notify all persons transporting, storing, distributing, or otherwise handling the article, or to which the article has been transported, sold, distributed, or otherwise handled, to immediately cease distribution of the article.

      ‘(3) NOTICE TO CONSUMERS- The Secretary shall, as the Secretary considers necessary, provide notice to consumers to whom the article was, or may have been, distributed.

      ‘(4) NONDISTRIBUTION BY NOTIFIED PERSONS- A person transporting, storing, distributing, or otherwise handling the article, or to which the article has been transported, sold, distributed, or otherwise handled, that is notified under paragraph (1)(B) or (2)(B) shall immediately cease distribution of the article.

    ‘(c) INFORMAL HEARING ON ORDER-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall provide a person subject to an order under subsection (b) with an opportunity for an informal hearing (pursuant to such rules or regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe) on the actions required by the order and on why the article that is the subject of the order should not be recalled.

      ‘(2) TIMING- The Secretary shall hold the informal hearing as soon as practicable, but not later than 2 days, after the issuance of the order.

    ‘(d) RECALL OR OTHER ACTIONS-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- If, after providing an opportunity for an informal hearing under subsection (c), the Secretary determines that there is a reasonable probability that human consumption of the article that is the subject of an order under subsection (b) presents a threat to public health, the Secretary may--

        ‘(A) amend the order to require recall of the article or other appropriate action;

        ‘(B) specify a timetable during which the recall will occur;

        ‘(C) require periodic reports to the Secretary describing the progress of the recall; and

        ‘(D) provide notice to consumers to whom the article is, or may have been, distributed.

      ‘(2) VACATION OF ORDER- If, after providing an opportunity for an informal hearing under subsection (c), the Secretary determines that adequate grounds do not exist to continue the actions required by the order, the Secretary shall vacate the order.

    ‘(e) ADDITIONAL REMEDIES- The remedies provided in this section shall be in addition to any other remedies that may be available.

‘SEC. 32. REFUSAL OR WITHDRAWAL OF INSPECTION OF ESTABLISHMENTS.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may, for such period, or indefinitely, as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out this Act, refuse to provide or withdraw inspection under this Act with respect to an establishment if the Secretary determines, after opportunity for a hearing on the record is provided to the applicant for, or recipient of, inspection, that the applicant or recipient, or any person responsibly connected with the applicant or recipient (within the meaning of section 18(a)), has committed a willful violation or repeated violations of this Act (including a regulation promulgated under this Act).

    ‘(b) DENIAL OR SUSPENSION OF INSPECTION PENDING HEARING- The Secretary may deny or suspend inspection under this Act, pending opportunity for an expedited hearing, with respect to an action under subsection (a), if the Secretary determines that the denial or suspension is in the public interest to protect the health or welfare of consumers or to ensure the effective performance of an official duty under this Act.

    ‘(c) JUDICIAL REVIEW-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- A determination and order of the Secretary with respect to the refusal or withdrawal of inspection under this section shall be final and conclusive unless, not later than 30 days after the effective date of the order, the affected applicant for, or recipient of, inspection--

        ‘(A) files a petition for judicial review of the order; and

        ‘(B) simultaneously sends a copy of the petition by certified mail to the Secretary.

      ‘(2) REFUSAL OR WITHDRAWAL OF INSPECTION PENDING REVIEW- Inspection shall be refused or withdrawn as of the effective date of the order pending any judicial review of the order unless the Secretary directs otherwise.

      ‘(3) VENUE; RECORD- Judicial review of the order shall be--

        ‘(A) in--

          ‘(i) the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the applicant for, or recipient of, inspection resides or has its principal place of business; or

          ‘(ii) the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; and

        ‘(B) on the record on which the determination and order are based.

    ‘(d) ADDITIONAL REMEDIES- The remedies provided in this section shall be in addition to any other remedies that may be available.

‘SEC. 33. CIVIL PENALTIES.

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL-

      ‘(1) ASSESSMENT- The Secretary may assess a civil penalty against a person that violates this Act (including a regulation promulgated or order issued under this Act) of not more than $100,000 for each violation.

      ‘(2) SEPARATE OFFENSES- Each violation and each day during which a violation continues shall be a separate offense.

      ‘(3) NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR HEARING- The Secretary shall not assess a civil penalty under this section against a person unless the person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing on the record before the Secretary in accordance with sections 554 and 556 of title 5, United States Code.

      ‘(4) AMOUNT- The amount of a civil penalty under this section shall be--

        ‘(A) assessed by the Secretary by written order, taking into account--

          ‘(i) the gravity of the violation;

          ‘(ii) the degree of culpability;

          ‘(iii) the size and type of the business; and

          ‘(iv) any history of prior offenses under this Act; and

        ‘(B) reviewed only in accordance with subsection (b).

    ‘(b) JUDICIAL REVIEW-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- An order assessing a civil penalty against a person under subsection (a) shall be final and conclusive unless the person--

        ‘(A) not later than 30 days after the effective date of the order, files a petition for judicial review in--

          ‘(i) the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the person resides or has its principal place of business; or

          ‘(ii) the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; and

        ‘(B) simultaneously sends a copy of the petition by certified mail to the Secretary.

      ‘(2) RECORD- The Secretary shall promptly file in the court a certified copy of the record on which the violation was found and the civil penalty assessed.

    ‘(c) COLLECTION ACTION FOR FAILURE TO PAY ASSESSMENT-

      ‘(1) REFERRAL TO ATTORNEY GENERAL- If a person fails to pay a civil penalty after the order assessing the civil penalty has become final and unappealable, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General.

      ‘(2) ACTION BY ATTORNEY GENERAL- The Attorney General shall bring a civil action to recover the amount of the civil penalty in United States district court.

      ‘(3) SCOPE OF REVIEW- In the collection action, the validity and appropriateness of the order of the Secretary imposing the civil penalty shall not be subject to review.

    ‘(d) REFUSAL OR WITHDRAWAL OF INSPECTION PENDING PAYMENT- If a person fails to pay the amount of a civil penalty after the order assessing the civil penalty becomes final and unappealable, the Secretary may refuse to provide or withdraw inspection under this Act of the person until the civil penalty is paid or until the Secretary directs otherwise.

    ‘(e) PENALTIES IN LIEU OF OTHER ACTIONS- Nothing in this Act requires the Secretary to report for prosecution, or for the institution of an action, a violation of this Act if the Secretary believes that the public interest will be adequately served by assessment of a civil penalty.

    ‘(f) ADDITIONAL REMEDIES- The remedies provided in this section shall be in addition to any other remedies that may be available.’.