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Restaurant Workers Would Have to get Food Safety Training under Bill Approved by State Senate

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Photo by Lucyrk in LA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by Lucyrk in LA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
Restaurant workers in California may soon be required to be trained and certified in proper food handling. What?! They weren't already trained and certified in that? Apparently not. Now a bill, which passed out of the State Senate today and headed to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for his approval, seeks to address that issue.

SB 602 would require restaurant employees who handle, prepare, service or sell non-prepackaged food to successfully pass a food handler certification program. Workers would have to pass a short course/test that covers a variety of topics including cooking meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly, chilling leftovers promptly, separating food, not cross-contaminating one food with another and washing hands with soap and water before preparing food.

Workers who handle food will also have to obtain a food handler certification.

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With the training and education, lawmakers hope to see a reduction in food-borne illnesses and hospitalizations. Senator Alex Padilla, who authored the bill, of the San Fernando Valley says the program is modeled after ones in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties where there's been a 79% decrease in incidents.