1997 Regular Session
By: Representative Holland (By Request)
House Bill 943
(As Passed the House)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 69-7-321, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE EXEMPTIONS TO THE EGG MARKETING LAWS; TO AMEND SECTION 69-7-329, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE TEMPERATURE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE STORAGE, TRANSPORTING AND DISPLAYING OF EGGS FOR RETAIL SALE; TO CREATE NEW SECTION 69-7-340, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE EGG MARKETING LAWS; TO REPEAL SECTION 69-7-339, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE EGG MARKETING LAWS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 69-7-321, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
69-7-321. Producers selling eggs of their own production, when offered on their own premises * * * are exempt from the provisions of this article.
All eggs, egg products, egg handlers and egg producers which are exempt under the provisions of United States Public Law 91-597, commonly referred to as the "Egg Products Inspection Act," or the regulations pertaining thereto, shall likewise be exempt from the provisions of this article to the same extent that such eggs, egg products, egg handlers, and egg producers are exempt from said Public Law 91-597 and the regulations pertaining thereto.
The name and address of the producer, packer or distributor shall appear on the container.
SECTION 2. Section 69-7-329, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
69-7-329. Any person engaged in the marketing of or the processing of eggs for marketing shall, in addition to maintaining egg handling facilities in a manner commensurate with laws governing food establishments, keep the eggs at a temperature not higher than sixty (60) degrees F. Any change in the temperature requirement mandated by an agency of the federal government for eggs during storage, transportation or display for retail sale shall be adopted in lieu of the requirement provided herein.
SECTION 3. The following section shall be codified as Section 69-7-340, Mississippi Code of 1972:
69-7-340. (1) Any person found by the commissioner to be in violation of this article may be assessed a penalty in an amount of not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) and subsequent violations at a fee of not less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00). In addition to or in lieu of such penalties, the commissioner may suspend or revoke the permit of such person issued under terms of this article. The commissioner shall notify such person of such action in writing delivered by certified United States Mail. Such person shall have fifteen (15) days after the notice is mailed within which to request in writing a hearing before the commissioner or his designee for the purpose of deciding whether or not the penalty imposed should be allowed to stand. The commissioner shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents or physical evidence, to administer oaths and to hear testimony.
If such person does not deliver the written request for a hearing within such time to the commissioner, the commissioner's original decision shall be final. An appeal, if taken, must be perfected within thirty (30) days after the decision of the commissioner with the circuit court of the county of the residence of the accused. If such person is a nonresident of the State of Mississippi, the case shall be appealed to the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi. If any penalty imposed by the commissioner is not paid within thirty (30) days of becoming final, the commissioner may take such legal action as he deems appropriate to collect such penalty and the court shall award the commissioner reasonable attorney's fees and court costs to collect the penalty.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, any person, firm, organization or corporation violating the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished for such violation; and each infraction shall constitute a separate offense.
(3) Any firm found to be in violation of the labeling requirements of this chapter, shall, upon conviction, be fined, for each offense, not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
(4) The commissioner shall have the authority to publish the names and addresses of violators and such information pertaining to violations of this article as he deems appropriate.
SECTION 4. Section 69-7-339, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provides penalties for violations of the egg marketing laws, is repealed.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.