In December, membership was provided an update on SB 338: At that time, the language from SB 338 was added as an amendment to HB 507 in the Senate Agriculture Committee which was later passed by the Senate and subsequently approved by the House. On Friday, January 6th, Governor Dewine signed HB 507, its contents, including the changes to the food survey methodology, into law. The law will become effective on April 6th, 2023.
A tremendous amount of work went into the passage of this legislation. This marks one of the greatest legislative accomplishments of the Ohio Environmental Health Association in recent history and would not have been possible without our Legislative Liaisons at Hicks Partners, Our Industry Partners with the Ohio Restaurant Association and Ohio Grocers Association, the OEHA Board of Directors, and so many individual members that provided testimony in support of the Bill.
A special thanks goes out to all as we celebrate the improvement of the process to evaluate Local Health Department food safety inspection programs. The improved process will allow a fair, objective evaluation of Environmental Health Specialists and help to sustain established professional relationships with our industry partners to maintain food safety. This serves as a great example of following our mission and specifically our objective to provide leadership in the legislative process in matters related to environmental and public health.
A link to HB 507 (which is now an act) is below. The language regarding the food survey process begins on Page 29.