California Chefs Fight for Bare-Hand Food Contact | NBC Southern California

California Chefs Fight for Bare-Hand Food Contact



    Chris Hondros/Getty Images
    Chefs say they worry that staff wearing gloves will forget hand-washing habits

    California legislators may reverse a new law banning bare hand contact with food at restaurants and bars.

    Since January, workers have been required to use gloves or utensils to handle ready-to-eat food, including the rice in a sushi roll and the mint in a mojito.

    California chefs and bartenders say adding more gloves to kitchens is unnecessary, wasteful and even unhygienic. They worry workers may forget to change gloves or lose hand-washing habits.

    But regulators say hand-washing isn't enough to stop outbreaks of foodborne illness. Forty one other states already have the no bare hand law.

    Democratic Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento says he wants to repeal and revisit the law to make it more flexible for clean restaurants. Inspectors aren't enforcing the law until July.