The gloves are off, thanks to new California legislature

Because you make fine cuisine for your online culinary arts program, you can probably imagine how wearing gloves would impede your process. Placing components delicately upon a dish is more of a challenge when a pair of latex gloves covers your hands. At least, that’s what chefs in California argued back in January when a law went into effect requiring cooks to wear gloves as they prepared dishes. As of Jan. 1, 2014, chefs handling prepared food had to don latex protective wear. However, that law is being repealed. The California Senate voted 32-0 to pass a new bill that would counteract the first.

Chefs unite
The “no-bare-hands” food code was designed to help reduce instances of foodborne illness as a result of human contact with prepared dishes. Despite the law’s well-indented purpose, chefs and restaurateurs alike felt it inhibited their work. As a result, many in California signed a petition asking for its repeal. They called the law confusing, ineffective and wasteful – chefs, bartenders and cooks would have to use and toss thousands of the gloves. In the case of sushi chefs and a few others, the gloves actually prevented them from executing a dish the way they needed to.

According to the Los Angeles Times, more than 19,000 people signed the petition calling for a repeal. Their efforts were noticed, giving way to AB 2130, or the repeal bill. It passed the Senate on Thursday, June 26.

Keeping restaurants clean
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study that revealed that restaurant employees who did not wear gloves were more likely to wash their hands at appropriate times than those who did wear gloves. This led many lawmakers to reconsider legislation surrounding food safety. The lawmakers who voted for the repeal believe that cooks can still be healthy, protecting the safety of the food they prepare, without the gloves.

“The good thing that came out of this is awareness,” Mary FitzGerald of Safe & Sound Food Safety Consultants told the source. “There should be more emphasis on training and not whether you use gloves or not. It’s something that everybody’s not doing enough of.”

Now that the repeal has passed, restaurants will have to be sure to train their employees thoroughly to ensure proper food safety measures are taken. For example, employees must wash their hands after taking out the trash, removing gloves, touching any part of their body or apron, etc.

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