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New California Law Requires Gloves for Contact with Ready-to-Eat Foods

February 25, 2014

The State of California passed a law revising the Retail Food Code, which now prohibits food establishments from bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods, beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. The law requires chefs, food handlers, and food servers to use gloves or utensils whenever ready-to-eat foods are being handled. It is reported the new law will be undergoing a soft roll-out for enforcement, where first time violators would be issued warning notices. Food service inspectors will be assigned to check if employees are complying with the new law during their regular inspection of the establishment. Ready-to eat foods include, but are not limited to the following:

  • any food that will not be thoroughly cooked or reheated before it is served
  • any food item that has already been cooked
  • prepared fresh fruits and vegetables served raw or cooked
  • salads and salad ingredients
  • fruit or vegetables for mixed drinks
  • garnishes, such as lettuce, parsley, lemon wedges, pickles
  • cold meats and sandwiches
  • raw sushi fish and sushi rice
  • bread, toast, rolls, baked goods

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