In a rather quick about-face, the California Senate has unanimously voted to repeal the controversial law that required chefs to wear latex gloves at all times while cooking. The measure – which went into effect on January 1 – offered several purported benefits, including the supposed protection of all food considered “exposed” or “ready to eat,” and the reduction of instances of foodborne illnesses. But California chefs were quick to fight back shortly after the law was passed. They mentioned the increase of restaurant expenses and feeling disconnected from their food. Other chefs pointed out the environmental hypocrisy in the law.
Moreover, food handlers debated the actual benefits of the measure, mentioning the possibility of cross-contamination, the effectiveness of proper hand washing and a general sense of confusion with the law. Many felt that their professions were being compromised; that the unwelcome rule was hindering their abilities to perform duties adequately.
Senators pointed to the sweeping backlash as a major reason for the reversal. The proposed repeal returns previous language to the health code, requiring restaurant and bar employees to “minimize” barehanded contact with food.
So, there you have it. Proof that legislators really do care about the restaurant industry. Score one for the chefs and barkeeps!
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