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AB 2130 Amends Bare Hands Regulation

All Hands on Bare Hands Regulation

In response to significant and growing outcry from restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders and others in the food and beverage services industries in California, as well as grass roots petitions through Change.org, the California State Assembly has introduced “emergency legislation” that would undo the newly-enacted law barring bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food, which angered and perplexed many across the State.  AB 2130 was introduced to the floor by Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), chair of the Assembly Health Committee, with the intent of undoing that which the new law did with respect to the California Retail Food Code, specifically Section 113961.

It was stated by those that vehemently disliked the new law that the changes imposed were unrealistic and mandated operational hurdles that could severely damage their businesses; not to mention the costs and waste associated with hundreds or even thousands of gloves being used at the tens of thousands of food services businesses in California. Furthermore, the laws that already minimize bare hand contact with food and require diligent hand washing while working in food prep and service areas are felt by most to be more than sufficient to protect the consumer. Many of the food borne illnesses suffered by diners have nothing to do with the hands of the food preparer, and more with the source of the food.

The new bill would permit some bare hand contact, stipulating that preparers must “minimize bare hand and arm contact.” The chef or bartender though would need to continue to wash ones hands in accordance with current state health regulations in order to prevent the fear of potential bacterial contamination.

The new bill would permit some bare hand contact, stipulating that preparers must “minimize bare hand and arm contact.” The chef or bartender though would need to continue to wash ones hands in accordance with current state health regulations in order to prevent the fear of potential bacterial contamination.