|(a) Statement of Purpose. Senate Bill 372, Article 7, §7.03, 74th Legislative Session (1995) now codified at Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 132, Subchapter A, requires the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Texas Department of Health (TDH) to coordinate regulatory programs and eliminate conflicting regulatory requirements and inspection standards of shell eggs at the retail level. (b) Definitions. The following meanings apply to this section unless expressly stated otherwise: (1) TDA--The Texas Department of Agriculture. (2) TDH--The Texas Department of Health. (3) MOU--The Memorandum of Understanding executed by TDA and TDH as required by §132.008 of the Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 132, Texas Egg Law, under the authority of the Texas Agriculture Code. (c) General Statement of Duties to be Performed
by TDA and TDH. TDA and TDH have reached the following general understanding to provide for better management and coordination of the agencies' regulatory shell egg programs at the retail level to eliminate conflicting regulatory requirements and inspection standards and to prevent duplication of work effort with regard to the inspection of shell eggs at retail establishments. The TDA will continue to inspect egg quality at the producer, wholesale, and retail levels, while TDH will inspect sanitary conditions under which eggs are produced and stored at producer, wholesale, and retail levels. (d) TDA Duties. (1) Prescribe standards for the inspection and regulation of shell eggs, including quality, grade, and size of shell eggs. These standards shall be at least equal to those adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2) Prescribe methods for the labeling for shell
egg containers relating to grade, classification and declaration of packing responsibility. (3) Conduct shell egg inspections at the retail level which include the grading, sizing, and container labeling of shell eggs. (4) Conduct shell egg inspections, including grading, sizing, temperature determination and container labeling of shell eggs at packing facilities, distributors, and dealer/wholesalers. (5) Carry out all other duties and responsibilities required by Chapter 132. (e) TDH Duties. (1) Enforce temperature standards for shell eggs at retail outlets. (2) Enforce minimum requirements for the safe and sanitary storage and handling of shell eggs as food products at producer, wholesale, and retail outlets. (3) Enforce standards for shell egg packaging that meets all applicable labeling required under Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 431.
(4) Conduct inspections of retail facilities to ensure the safe and sanitary storage and handling of shell eggs as food products. (5) Carry out all other duties and responsibilities required by the Texas Health Code. (f) General Statement of Mutual Agreements. (1) TDA will not engage in any activity or responsibility assigned to TDH in this MOU, and TDH will not engage in any activity or responsibility assigned to TDA in this MOU. (2) The general guidelines in this MOU may be supplemented by specific written guidelines in accordance with local needs and may be modified in writing at any time by mutual agreement. (3) This MOU does not constitute financial obligation by either party nor does it serve as a basis for expenditures. Expenditures made by each party will be in accordance with its rules and regulations, contingent upon funds being available from which
expenditures legally may be made. (g) Term. This MOU shall become effective upon date of signature and shall continue until terminated by mutual consent of parties herein or by either party on notice in writing to the other party 30 days in advance of such termination. (h) Execution. This MOU was executed on September 30, 1996.