California lawmaker wants to change glove law for food preparers

A California lawmaker has introduced emergency legislation that would alter the state’s new “glove law.”

On January 1, employees at restaurants and bars were required to begin using gloves or tongs when handling ready to eat food. Critics argued the law was unnecessary and created a hassle for restaurants. The law extended to bartenders – who are now mandated to use gloves or tongs when adding a fruit garnish to a drink.

A local restaurant owner said it doubles the preparation time.

“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,” said state lawmaker Richard Pan, who authored the original law, to which he is now proposing a change.

A local sushi restaurant and bar told 23ABC the new glove requirement has slowed food production and creates more hassle.

Pan said the new proposed law would not force all food preparers to wear gloves, but that it would minimize hand contact and require more frequent hand-washing. 

A petition by California bars collected nearly 12,000 signatures against the bill as written.

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