This week, local restaurant and bar owners joined Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, and Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen in announcing emergency legislation to provide relief to food facilities from the “glove law,” enacted Jan. 1, 2014, which prohibits bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food.
Assembly Bill 2130 will repeal that section of the Retail Food Code that prohibits and replace it with the law as it existed in 2013.
“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. “Sacramento is famous for being the ‘Farm-to-Fork Capitol,’ and we continue to grow our entertainment and restaurant industry. I am committed to making sure this is a great city for our businesses to thrive in.”
The issue has been the subject of a Change.org grassroots petition that was started by Josh Miller, a bar expert from Alameda.
“We gathered more than 11,000 signatures from people who have shared their stories about how the glove law has negatively impacted their bars and restaurants,” Miller said. “I am excited to work with Dr. Pan to bring those stories into the discussion and to the State Legislature.”
Also in attendance in support of the introduction of AB 2130 were representatives from the American River College culinary arts program, as well as Chris Jarosz of West Sacramento’s Broderick Roadhouse, Simon and Henry de Vere White of de Vere’s Irish Pub, and several other restaurateurs in the region.
“Stakeholders throughout California have made it clear that, while we must protect the public health, we must also respect the artistry of the chefs and mixologists that shape our state’s cuisine. This bill works to maintain that balance and ensure that California remains a culinary destination,” said State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, principal co-author of the bill.
The previous law required employees to minimize bare-hand contact with food, though it was not prohibited, as well as practice proper hand washing techniques.
A.B. 2130 already has gained wide and bipartisan support, including Assembly co-authors Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, Brian Maeinschein, R-San Diego, and Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont.