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California Legislature

Gov. Brown vetoes effort to regulate Blue Apron, other meal delivery services in California

This 2014 photo shows an example of a home delivered meal from Blue Apron, a New Hampshire firm. (Matthew Mead / Associated Press)
This 2014 photo shows an example of a home delivered meal from Blue Apron, a New Hampshire firm. (Matthew Mead / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday put the brakes on an effort to further regulate the burgeoning meal subscription business, in which firms deliver to customers original recipes and proportioned ingredients needed to prepare food at home.

Brown vetoed a bill that would have required those subscription services to get food handler cards for employees handling unpackaged ingredients. It was sponsored by the California Grocers Assn. and United Food and Commercial Workers State Council, competitors of the new businesses.

Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) introduced the measure, citing public health concerns.

“The emergence of food facility meal-kit subscriptions directly to consumers has raised serious concerns of public health and environmental safety with consumers and public health officials alike,” Thurmond said. “This is a preventative measure to help protect families and children from getting food poisoning and sick.”

Brown said the issue needs more consideration.

“This bill attempts to regulate a burgeoning new business model of home food delivery,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “I’m not convinced, however, that the existing regulatory scheme for food facilities is suitable for this new industry.”

The governor went on to say, “I encourage the Legislature to continue to work on this issue with the Department of Public Health and interested stakeholders to ensure food safety is protected and innovation is encouraged.”

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