Two Thumbs Up For California's Bare Hand Ban Repeal

Neeta LindNeeta LindFoodies of California, rejoice: The state senate just passed a bill to ensure that bartenders, sushi chefs, and others can legally prepare food like normal people. That is, without wearing gloves.

The Associated Press reports that A.B. 2130 this afternoon "passed its final legislative hurdle… with a 32-0 vote" and is "now heading to the California governor's office" to be signed into law.

Why was this little piece of legislation necessary? Last year California's very same public servants, in both the senate and assembly, unanimously voted in favor of a "glove law" to require those who handle ready-to-eat foods to wear gloves or use tongs – or else face misdemeanor charges. The new law, which instead simply requires people to "minimize bare hand and arm contact with nonprepackaged food" will be implemented on July 1, the same day the old one was supposed to take full effect.

Like so many other regulations, the glove law seemed perfectly reasonable until closely inspected.

"This law, which seems to be really focused on the Subways and Chipotles of the market, now affects your most well-trained and experienced chefs who have mastered their craft and have never had any issue," Jordan Bernstein, a Los Angeles-based attorney at Michelman and Robinson who represents some of California's top chefs and eateries told Reason TV earlier this year. "They've been using their hands for 30 years and now this really throws them for a loop." Likewise, bartenders would have had to wear the goofy gloves just to garnish a bloody mary.

The glove law had loopholes, but created a regulatory headache to obtain the proper approval to make food without some latex in the way. 

"We want laws that promote public health, not a deterrent for business. ... I am committed to working with the restaurant community to roll back the glove law so we can move [toward] meaningful conversation on food safety," said Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who introduced the repeal.

Watch Reason TV's coverage of the glove law mess here:

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  • PapayaSF||

    Good.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Dumb laws are dropping like flies today.

  • BambiB||

    You noticed that too?

    Unfortunately, we'd need 100 years at this pace to get back to sanity.

  • DC_36||

    Double-Plus Good, even.

    The glove law was a symptom of the alienating, regulating-welcoming worldview that many nannies and statists are pushing : the world is icky, other people are icky, and they want to avoid contact with other people and messy reality as much as possible.

  • BambiB||

    The nanny-staters are ickiest of all.

    Let's put a big rubber prophylactic on them to protect the world from their ickiness.

  • ||

    The idiots who voted for the original law never understood that gloves are meant to protect the employee from the food, not the patron from the employee. Now they've carved out an exception that still assumes the original mistake. Morons.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah. Unless they are changing gloves every time they touch something different, the gloves are probably more likely to spread things around than bare hands. Proper hand washing is all that's really necessary.
    You're also more likely to cut yourself and bleed all over everything if you are used to using a knife bare handed.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "I am committed to working with the restaurant community to roll back the glove law so we can move [toward] meaningful conversation on food safety,"

    ...a meaningful conversation which we maybe should have had *before* passing a dumb law on the subject.

  • Sevo||

    "We want laws that promote public health, not a deterrent for business. .."

    No WE don't.
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • ||

    Why didn't they just outlaw bacteria? Think of the savings with food never spoiling.

  • ||

    Like so many other regulations, the glove law seemed perfectly reasonable until closely inspected.

    Next up: L.A.'s condom rules for porn, Measure B. No glove, no love.

  • Paul.||

    Like so many other regulations, the glove law seemed perfectly reasonable until closely inspected.

    No it didn't. Don't fall into that trap. It was full retard the moment the pen hit the page to write the first letter of the first word in the first sentence.

  • R C Dean||

    It was only perfectly reasonable if you have no clue what gloves are for.

    Here's a hint: they are "PPE", or "personal protective equipment". Like other PPE (a hard hat or respirator), they are primarily to protect the wearer, not the public at large.

    If you're stupid enough, anything looks reasonable at first glance.

  • Sigivald||

    What are gloves protecting someone making food from?

    Every place I've seen them (say, Subway), they're there to keep customers happy about not having some kid they don't trust to wash their hands manhandle their finished food...

    (This was a stupid law, but gloves are not only for personal protection; for example when a surgeon wears them to cut you he's not doing so to keep your cooties off nearly as much as he is to keep you from dying of septic infection.

    Every food-related use of latex or plastic gloves I've ever heard of has been to keep staff cooties off the food.)

  • R C Dean||

    gloves are not only for personal protection

    Which is why I said they were "primarily" for personal protection.

    What are gloves protecting someone making food from?

    Nothing. That's why its stupid-to-counterproductive to use them in food prep.

    Every place I've seen them (say, Subway), they're there to keep customers happy

    Right. Optics, not infection control.

    a surgeon wears them to cut you he's not doing so to keep your cooties off nearly as much as he is to keep you from dying of septic infection.

    Look! A study!

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662619

    The rate of compliance with hand hygiene was significantly lower when gloves were worn

    Doesn't really go into whether wearing gloves really protects patients much, although it does increase the risk of crappy hand hygiene.

  • Paul.||

    The German government has canceled a contract with Verizon in the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosures about U.S. surveillance there.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to cancel their contract with the U.S.?

  • Zeb||

    They learned about protests from the people who wanted to boycott Stoli vodka.

  • Paul.||

    Oh jesus I forgot about that. Dare I google it to find out what happened with that bit of #hashtagtivism?

  • R C Dean||

    The gloves may make the risk to the customer worse.

    When you are wearing gloves, you never wash your gloved hands.

    When you aren't wearing gloves, you will wash your bare hands.

    If you wash your hands more often than you change gloves, the customers are safer if you are bare-handed.

  • PapayaSF||

    Yup.

  • Not a Libertarian||

    How much did this sensible decision rely on the fact that the glove requirement would have disproportionately impacted chefs of elite restaurants?

  • BambiB||

    WHAT KIND OF MORON VOTES FOR A LAW - THEN VOTES FOR THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE ONE YEAR LATER?

    Fire them all. All of them. I know the bar for government employment is low, but these morons just limboed right under it.

  • BambiB||

    It's just another example of:

    READY!

    FIRE!

    AIM!

    By your elected morons.

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