Unattended Retail Innovation Act

Summary

Vending machines and unattended self-checkout establishments, commonly known as micro markets, are in a quickly innovating space which has led to confusion as to how they should be regulated. These locations do not engage in food preparation, only sell prepackaged food, and are generally located in a secured location such as an office building not open to the public. Despite this many of these locations may fall under the regulatory authority of the Department of Public Health and be subjected to overburdensome regulations designed for restaurants and other food service and preparation establishments. The intent of this legislation is to provide a definition of micro markets and vending machines, and clarification as to how these locations should be regulated from a public health and licensing standpoint that promotes food safety and convenience. This bill would allow for micro markets and vending machines offering certain types of food to be subject to food safety regulation by the Department of Agriculture, while eliminating the need for health inspections, pre-inspection licensing, plan and review processes and other regulations not designed for these types of locations.

Unattended Retail Innovation Act

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF __________:

 

Section 1. For purposes of this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a)MICRO MARKET. An unstaffed, self-checkout retail food service facility that consists of the following:

(1) Includes one or more micro market displays.

(2) Has an automated payment kiosk or other device designed to accept electronic payments that is operated by the consumer.

(3) Is located indoors and generally within a separate business.

(4) Is generally accessible only to individuals within the building in which the food service facility is located.

(b)MICRO MARKET DISPLAY. The place where the food being sold by a micro market is displayed, including any of the following:

(1) An open rack.

(2) A refrigerator, refrigerated cooler, or freezer that has an automated self-locking feature that prevents a consumer from accessing the food on the occurrence of any condition that results in the failure of the refrigerator, refrigerated cooler, or freezer.

(3) A vending machine.

(4)A beverage dispenser.

(5)A single-serve coffee brewer.

(c)VENDING MACHINE. A self-service machine that, upon acceptance of a coin, paper currency, electronic payment, token, card, or key, or by optional manual operation, dispenses servings of food or beverage in bulk or in packages, or prepared by the machine, without the necessity of replenishing the machine between each vending operation.

 

Section 2. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the regulatory authority provided to the Department of Public Health shall not apply to the regulation of a micro market or vending machine or to any food and beverages sold by a micro market or vending machine as defined in this act.

 

Section 3. Except as otherwise provided by general and local law, the Department of__________________ shall regulate micro markets and vending machines.

 

Section 4. Any state or local business or food service establishment licensing fees shall be assessed per operator company, not per vending machine or micro market location.

 

Section 5. This act shall become effective ____________