81-2,281. Department; enforce act; powers; contract for conduct of certain regulatory functions; exemption from inspection fee; inspections; how conducted; by whom.

(1) The department shall enforce the Nebraska Pure Food Act and any rule or regulation adopted and promulgated pursuant to such act. The department may:

(a) Enter at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner, without being subject to any action for trespass or damages if reasonable care is exercised, any food establishment, food processing plant, or salvage operation to inspect all food, structures, vehicles, equipment, packing materials, containers, records, and labels on such property. The department may inspect and examine all records and property relating to compliance with the Nebraska Pure Food Act. Such records and property shall be made available to the department for review at all reasonable times;

(b) In a reasonable manner, hold for inspection and take samples of any food which may not be in compliance with the Nebraska Pure Food Act;

(c) Inspect at any time or place food that is being shipped into or through the state and take any enforcement action authorized under the Nebraska Pure Food Act; and

(d) Obtain an inspection warrant in the manner prescribed in sections 29-830 to 29-835 from a court of record if any person refuses to allow the department to inspect pursuant to this subsection.

(2) In addition to its authority provided in subsection (1) of this section, the department may contract with any political subdivision or state agency it deems qualified to conduct any or all regulatory functions authorized pursuant to the act except those functions relating to the issuance, suspension, or revocation of permits or any order of probation. Holders of permits issued pursuant to the act who are regularly inspected by political subdivisions under contract with the department shall be exempt from the inspection fees prescribed in section 81-2,270 if such holders pay license or inspection fees to the political subdivision performing the inspections.

(3) It shall be the responsibility of the regulatory authority to inspect food establishments and food processing plants as often as required by the act. An inspection of a salvage operation shall be performed at least once every three hundred sixty-five days of operation. Additional inspections shall be performed as often as is necessary for the efficient and effective enforcement of the act.

(4) All inspections conducted pursuant to the act shall be performed by persons who are provisional environmental health specialists or registered environmental health specialists as defined in section 38-1305 or 38-1306.

(5) Duly authorized personnel of the regulatory authority after showing proper identification shall have access at all reasonable times to food establishments, food processing plants, or salvage operations required by the act to obtain a permit to perform authorized regulatory functions. Such functions shall include, but not be limited to, inspections, checking records maintained in the establishment or other locations to obtain information pertaining to food and supplies purchased, received, used, sold, or distributed, copying and photographing violative conditions, and examining and sampling food. When samples are taken, the inspectors shall pay or offer to pay for samples taken. The authorized personnel shall also have access to the records of salvage operations pertaining to distressed salvageable and salvaged merchandise purchased, received, used, sold, or distributed.

(6) Regulatory activities performed by a political subdivision or state agency under contract shall conform with the provisions of the act and such activities shall have the same effect as those performed by the department. Any interference with the regulatory authority's duty to inspect shall be an interference with the department's duties for the purposes of section 81-2,273.

Source:Laws 1981, LB 487, § 31; Laws 1991, LB 703, § 66; R.S.1943, (1987), § 81-216.27; Laws 1991, LB 358, § 50; Laws 1997, LB 199, § 58; Laws 1999, LB 474, § 16; Laws 2007, LB463, § 1311; Laws 2017, LB134, § 11.