§ 21-2-2. Declaration of policy.
Milk is recognized to be one of the most perfect foods afforded by nature. It is unique in that its consumption in adequate quantities is essential to the nutritional well-being of the individual; but if its production and distribution are not properly safeguarded, it may be instrumental in the transmission of diseases infectious to people. It is declared to be the policy of the state that, for the protection of the health and welfare of the people of the state of Rhode Island, the environmental conditions surrounding the production, handling, transportation, distribution, and sale of milk and milk products shall be to protect the public health and to provide consumers with products that are identified in such a way as to promote honesty and fair dealing in the best interests of the consumers. Specifically, it is declared to be the policy of the state to provide:
(1) That the people of Rhode Island shall have a supply of milk adequate to their needs and demands under all conditions.
(2) That milk provided for consumers within the state of Rhode Island shall be of good quality; shall be safe for human consumption; shall contain no live bacteria capable of transmitting disease to people; shall contain adequate nutritional components; and shall be free of adulteration.
(3) That milk sold or produced in Rhode Island shall come from healthy cows or goats.
(4) That milk sold or produced in Rhode Island shall be produced on farms having standards and conditions of sanitation adequate to ensure production of milk that is safe and of good quality.
(5) That milk sold or produced in Rhode Island shall be produced, processed, and handled by personnel free from any communicable disease.
(6) That milk to be consumed in the state of Rhode Island shall, at all stages in its travel from animal to ultimate consumer, be transported in equipment and/or packages that shall be designed, filled, operated, maintained, and emptied to prevent the introduction and/or propagation of bacteria, dirt, or any other foreign substances.
(7) That all milk sold in Rhode Island shall be handled and processed under conditions of good sanitation and shall be finally packaged free from contamination, dirt, or any other foreign substances and/or adulteration.
(8) That all milk sold within the state of Rhode Island shall be, except as specifically authorized by this chapter, pasteurized by a recognized method of pasteurizing adequate to destroy bacteria capable of transmitting disease to people. Provided, that a physician may authorize an individual sale of goat milk directly from producer to consumer by written, signed prescription.
(9) That the branding or labeling of packages in which all milk sold in the state of Rhode Island shall be delivered to the consumer shall state the grade of milk packaged; may state any special attributes of the milk; and that all statements made on any packaging labels shall not be false or misleading.
(10) That this state shall cooperate in the preparation and promulgation of any set of standards, regulations, statutes, or other means of control of sanitation in the production, transportation, handling, processing, and distribution of milk, or any one or more of them, according to a uniform system of requirements to be adopted alike by all or a majority of the states that contribute milk to the Rhode Island market.
(P.L. 1962, ch. 80, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 132, § 3; P.L. 1989, ch. 205, § 3; P.L. 2016, ch. 536, § 1.)