According to Florida’s Administrative Code Chapter 64E-11 - the food hygiene rule, “No live birds or animals except for crustacea, shellfish and fish in a food service establishment…” An exception to the code however cites the regulations about public accommodation for people who use service animals.
"Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability," says the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division in its publication "Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals." The publication also states that emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are not considered service animals under the ADA.
The problem for these stores is that they can't tell if an animal is a service animal, or a comfort or emotional support animal. And asking will potentially expose them to problems and potential litigation that they surely don't want to risk it, and therefore, play it safe and assume it is a necessary animal under the ADA. By the way, those "service dog at work" vests can be easily bought by anyone online -so they can't even use that as a guideline.
You may wish to contact your County Board of Health. If these stores are chains (e.g., Walmart, Publix, etc) you can reach out to their corporate headquarters with your concerns as well -just don't expect much, unfortunately, since the ADA limits what they can say and do.
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