March 25, 2014
A key member of the California State Assembly has introduced "emergency legislation" that would undo the newly-enacted law by requiring that food preparers use gloves or utensils when handling ready-to-eat food.
Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), chair of the Assembly Health Committee, said AB 2130 would replace the language in the state health code that took effect January 1st that barred sushi chefs, bartenders and others from handling ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands.
The bill would permit some bare hand contact, stipulating that preparers must "minimize bare hand and arm contact." The chef or bartender would also need to wash his hands in accordance with current state health regulations. The new law also lays out a series of regulatory and bureaucratic steps food establishments must take to get an exemption from the no bare hands rule. AB 2130 would remove all of those requirements.