Here's a heartwarming story about the power of democracy: A new bill was announced today by Assembly member Richard Pan* to repeal AB 1252, the so-called "glove law" which requires all food service handlers to wear disposable rubber gloves during service.
The law was ostensibly passed to make food service prep for "ready-to-eat" foods like sushi, deli sandwiches, and so on safer, but it has been widely contested by bartenders, sushi chefs, and others in the food community as being unhygienic and wasteful. Two petitions on Change.org have amassed nearly 20,000 signatures between them.
In response, Dr. Pan announced AB 2130 at a press conference in Sacramento this morning. This new bill is specifically aimed at repealing the plastic glove requirement of AB 1252 in response to the concerns voiced by the restaurant and bartending community, says District Director Robert Abelon. It was announced as emergency legislation, and will hopefully pass the assembly with a two-thirds vote and get in front of Governor Jerry Brown before the original bill's six-month window for bar and restaurant compliance is over in June.
"I'm super-excited that our petition helped the rollback of the misguided law," says Iso Rabins, head of ForageSF and author of one of the petitions (the other was headed up by Josh Miller and the U.S. Bartenders Guild). "The daily lives of thousands of people across California will be changed because of our work and the work of people I respect."
It is pretty cool to see such a swift government response to repeal a bill that could have caused an incredible amount of waste and potentially made conditions in the kitchen even less sanitary. And sushi chefs, bartenders, and other professionals who handle food directly will be able to work without a sheath of latex between them.
*a previous version of this article attributed the glove law to state representative David Pan. We regret the error.