California to Backtrack on Mandatory Food-Handling Glove Law

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Protective gloves will not be a mandated part of California food safety law.

Don’t worry California bartenders. You won’t have to make your martinis while wearing plastic. California lawmakers are going back on part of a controversial bill that was recently passed in the State Assembly that would require all food and beverage handlers — including bartenders, chefs, deli workers and sushi chefs — to wear gloves or some other protective gear. The controversial legal measure is part of a bill aimed at increasing food safety in the state of California, but many bartenders and sushi chefs thought it was silly — or even detrimental — to the precision of their jobs.

“Given the challenges presented by, essentially, mandating plastic gloves for all who handle food in the restaurant and culinary arts, we support reassessing the prohibition of bare-hand contact,” California Restaurant Association President and CEO Jot Condie said.

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According to San Francisco Gate the problem with the new bill was that it was enacted so quickly and quietly, many news outlets did not even know about it. The new legislation has not yet been written but a draft says, “Many small restaurants and bars have raised serious concerns about a provision in the new law that prohibits bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food. This bill repeals the section of the Retail Food Code that prohibits bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods and replaces it with the law as it existed in 2013.”