In January of 2014, California passed a bill that prohibited food handlers from touching ready to eat food with their bare hands. This law created quite a stir, especially amongst bartenders and sushi chefs who claimed it would be environmentally and hygienically unsafe. It was so hastily passed by the assembly that it even prompted local regulatory authorities across the state to roll out the new law slowly over a six month period. They said there would be no citations in restaurants or bars until July 1st 2014. The new “glove law” was repealed on June 28th just days before citations were to be given because of the complaints from sushi chefs and bartenders.
This law was not targeted at making sushi chefs and bartenders wear gloves while they prepare your food. In fact, the original wording of the law had exemptions written in to it specifically for these types of operations, but they would simply have to have written policies on proper hand washing procedures. The law was targeted at other areas of the industry such as gas station workers loading hot dogs on to the rollers or servers at breakfast cafes putting your bread into the basket. Have you ever seen an employee at a fast food restaurant take you feces infested money and then turn around to make your food? That is who the law was targeting.
So why then would they want this law which is already in place in 41 other states repealed? Because they don’t want to write the necessary policies or apply for the exemptions? The CDC says that washing hands correctly is the best way to protect the safety of food, which is true, but how many people are actually washing their hands the correctly. Well, according to a major study performed by hospitality department at MSU the answer would be only 5%, that’s not enough. So with 50 million US citizens each year getting the stomach bug from what is referred to as the “oral-fecal route” its time to stop being lazy, apply for the exemptions and make the regular food service workers follow policies that enforce good hand washing and proper glove use.