SACRAMENTO, June 30 (UPI) -- Bartenders dropping mint and melon balls into highball craft cocktails in California will no longer be required to sport plastic gloves. The repeal bill negating the state food-safety law requiring gloves was signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The repeal went into effect immediately.
The original law was passed earlier this year as an effort to curb the spread of food-borne illness. A CDC report recently pointed to hand-to-food contact as the most culpable of the pathways that enabled the spread of norovirus between 2001 and 2008.
The law required all food handlers, including chefs and bartenders, to use gloves or utensils like tongs when handling "ready-to-eat" food -- anything that wouldn't be cooked before being served to the customer. The law also mandated that a new pair of gloves be put on for each new plated dish or assembled drink.
But 19,000 workers in the food industry signed a petition voicing their displeasure with the law, calling it wasteful and ineffective. Politicians listened.
"We're grateful the assemblyman was willing to roll (the bill) back, hit pause and restart the process from the beginning," said Angie Pappas, spokeswoman for the California Restaurant Association.
Governor Brown signed the repeal bill after it passed California's senate last week by a vote of 32 to 0. Laws similar to California's original glove requirement can be found still on the books in 41 other states.