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California May Reverse Silly Law Forcing Sushi Chefs, Bartenders To Wear Gloves

A chef preparing sushi while wearing gloves (Photo by Pressmaster via Shutterstock)
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After a new state law requiring food handlers to wear gloves enraged bartenders and sushi chefs in the food industry, a new emergency legislation is in the works to undo that damage.

The food glove law went into effect on Jan. 1 and required workers to use gloves, utensils or wax paper (no bare hands!) to prep any "ready-to-eat" food that wouldn't be heated or reheated. (Here's looking at you bartenders and sushi chefs.) Restaurants were given six months to make adjustments to better handle the food.

However, less than two months after the law was enacted, Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento proposed on Monday an emergency legislation, AB 2130 (a.k.a. Retail Food Safety law), that would change the language of the law and reverse it. Pan told KPCC that the original food glove law "was not turning out the way that those of us who helped work on the legislation thought" it would.

If passed, the legislation would go into effect before July 1, and would change the state health code from prohibiting bare hands to touch the food to "minimizing" contact, reported the Sacramento Business Journal and KPCC.

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This comes on the heels of the original legislation that was criticized by food staff who said it was a costly law that isn't environmentally-friendly, reported the L.A. Times. In addition, more than 18,000 folks unhappy with the law signed two petitions fighting against it.

"It's not about whether there are gloves or not, it should be about whether the local business and the health inspector have worked together to create a safe environment for the customer," Pan said at a press conference, according to the O.C. Weekly.

Bartenders Have To Wear Gloves Under New State Law
Sushi Chefs Have To Wear Gloves According To New Law