Governor signs repeal of food-safety law requiring gloves

A sushi chef wears gloves as he prepares food at Sushi Gen in Los Angeles on Jan. 17.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that repeals a law requiring chefs and bartenders to wear gloves while handling certain foods.

Brown signed the repeal measure on Saturday and it took effect immediately.

According to the Jan. 1 law, cooks and bartenders were required to use gloves, scoops, tongs or other utensils when handling “ready-to-eat” food such as fresh fruit and vegetables, bread or deli meats -- anything that would not be cooked or reheated before it went out to customers.

More than 19,000 chefs and bartenders in California had signed petitions calling for reversal of the ban on barehanded contact with such food, saying the prohibition was ineffective and led to interruption of operations, extra costs and waste.

On Thursday, the state Senate voted 32 to 0 to approve the bill repealing the law, rushing it to the governor’s desk so that he could sign it before Tuesday, when a grace period for compliance was set to start in many parts of California.


“This is a common sense fix to California’s Health and Safety Code, and we worked closely with the bill’s author to ensure quick action could be taken,” Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, told The Times.