New California Health Code Requires Gloves, Bans Raw-Dog Handling of Food


Earlier this week I was ordering at a Taco Bell drive-thru when I noticed the cashier sneezed and didn’t wash his hands before handing over my food. I took it anyway, but definitely not without wondering for a second whether or not I’d die because of it.

Thanks to a new California health code revision, such sketchy practices will hopefully be a thing of the past. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, the updated California Retail Food Code (which went into effect January 1) goes a step further than its previous version, in that it bans bare-hand contact with prepared food instead of simply minimizing it. In other words, all food must be handled by employees wearing single-use gloves or using utensils such as tongs, scoops, spatulas, or wax paper.

Sushi lovers needn’t get their nori in a bunch, however. Not only is the state allowing a six-month adjustment period for restaurants, but the law also offers plenty of loopholes to allow sushi chefs to do what they do. For example, obtaining the proper permits from authorities, providing ample documentation proving staff understanding of the associated gastrointestinal risks, and double hand washing.

Let’s just hope food employees actually get around to changing their gloves though. Because ew.

H/T Inside Scoop SF