(a) No person shall operate a food sales establishment within this state which sells baby food, infant formula, or potentially hazardous food without a food safety permit except those persons who operate any of the following establishments:
(1) A meat processing establishment which currently has a grant of inspection from the commissioner.
(2) A meat processing establishment which currently has a grant of inspection from the United States Department of Agriculture.
(3) A food service establishment required to obtain a food service permit through the Alabama Department of Public Health except those operated in conjunction with a food sales establishment otherwise requiring a permit.
(b) Application shall be made to the department each year for a food safety permit on forms requiring information to be submitted and at the times required by the department.
(c) Each application shall be accompanied by a food safety permit fee in the amount of fifty dollars ($50) for each food sales establishment for which a food safety permit is required and the fee shall be nonrefundable and shall not be prorated and shall be renewed annually by the payment of the required fee on a date established by the board.
(d) The department shall receive and review each completed application for a food safety permit. The department shall issue a food safety permit for each establishment requested if the application is complete, the fee is tendered, and the establishment is in compliance with rules and regulations promulgated hereunder. A food safety permit may not be transferred from one food sales establishment to another. Whenever a food sales establishment is sold, the new owner must apply for a new food safety permit.
(e) The department may deny issuance or renewal of, or it may suspend or revoke a permit issued for, flagrant, serious, or continued violations of provisions of this chapter or rules or regulations promulgated hereunder after a due process hearing before a hearing officer. The hearing officer shall make a full report to the department with his or her recommendation for action within 14 days after the hearing. The official decision of the department shall be rendered within 30 days of receipt of the hearing officer's report. Appeals from the department's decision shall be made in a timely manner in accordance with the rules for contested cases under the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, Section 41-22-12, et seq. Judicial review shall be by trial de novo in circuit court in accordance with provisions of the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, Section 41-22-20(j).
(f) The department may institute a civil action in any circuit court in the State of Alabama to enforce the provisions of this article. Any person required to have a food safety permit who operates without a valid food safety permit may be enjoined from the operation by the circuit court without prior resort to criminal remedies.
(g) All fees collected by the department under this section shall accrue to the Agriculture Fund and shall be appropriated by the Legislature as provided by law.