(a) The department is the lead agency for the administration, implementation, and enforcement of, and education and training relating to, the United States Food and Drug Administration Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (21 C.F.R. Part 112) or any successor federal produce safety rule or standard.
(a-1) The department shall assist the fresh fruit and vegetable industries with produce safety issues and may provide assistance to federal agencies in their implementation of guidelines relating to sound agricultural practices.
(b) The department shall coordinate and plan training and awareness programs for producers and packers of fresh fruits and vegetables. A program under this subsection must inform and educate producers and packers regarding:
(1) sound agricultural practices;
(2) proper produce handling procedures;
(3) the prevention of accidental or deliberately planned outbreaks of disease; and
(4) the enhancement of overall produce safety.
(c) The department shall coordinate the planning and implementation of programs required by Subsection (b) with:
(1) colleges and universities in this state;
(2) the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service;
(3) Texas A&M AgriLife Research;
(4) the Department of State Health Services;
(5) private industry; and
(6) nongovernmental organizations.
(c-1) The department may enter into a cooperative agreement, interagency agreement, grant agreement, or memorandum of understanding with a federal or state agency for the administration, implementation, or enforcement of this section.
(d) The department may adopt rules to administer, implement, and enforce this section. In the development of rules under this section, the department may consider relevant state, federal, or national standards and may consult with federal or state agencies.
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