Standardization and Quality Control
This program has changed dramatically over the course of the past year. The inspections at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry have been discontinued, for the time being, in favor of performing inspections of fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables at wholesale and retail businesses located throughout San Diego County. All consumers expect to purchase wholesome, safe foods that meet the high standards our society demands. This expectation fuels the need for the inspections performed by this segment of the Department. The staff are also responsible for the California Organic Foods Law, egg quality, certified producers and farmer’s markets.
Certified producers and farmers’ markets are collectively referred to as direct marketing. Legislation in the 1996 resulted in a mandatory increase of inspections of direct marketing. Additional authority was also given to the Agricultural Commissioner to levy civil administrative penalties against certified producers and farmer’s markets found to be violating State laws and regulations. Before levying penalties, staff explained the new laws and requirements to the affected industry through meetings and letters. They also performed "compliance" inspections to show the direct marketing participants where they need to concentrate their efforts in order to be in compliance. No actions to monetarily penalize violators were taken during this education process. The philosophy to inform, warn and then take appropriate action has been well received by the regulated industry.
Brochure of useful weights & measures information (for consumers)
Brochure of useful weights & measures information (for businesses)
Fruit & Vegetable Standards Brochure