Dr. Richard Pan, the pediatrician and Democratic Assemblyman who introduced and passed a law last year in the California Assembly that will force all chefs, sushi chefs, and bartenders to wear rubber gloves whenever handling food items, now says that that requirement was "not fully vetted," and he's trying to get it repealed before the law takes effect.
Pan has taken the bulk of the criticism for his food-handling safety law, which passed without opposition in 2013 and is set to take effect in June, much of it coming from the bartending community who have been really pissed off at the idea of having to put on and take off rubber gloves all night every time they want to squeeze a lemon. SFist alerted you to a petition circulating last month which gathered over 11,000 signatures attempting to get a bartender exemption for the law. That petition was put together by 15 Romolo bartender Aaron Smith who notes not only that he'd be forced to go through 175 gloves any given night and slow down his drink-making, but also, "Nobody wants to eat in a doctor’s office. It makes if feel a little more industriala little more institutional." Yes and anything that is going to lengthen artisanal-cocktail-making time is a horrible thing, indeed.
Also upset are sushi chefs, who take the craft of handling and cutting raw fish with bare hands very seriously, and other chefs who deride the law for its environmental impacts (a lot of wasted latex) and impracticality. Local chef Joshua Oakley of Tango & Stache noted also that so much quick changing of gloves is likely to result in "bacteria [trapped] beneath them, especially when you can't wash and quickly put on a new pair."
As CBS and Capital Public Radio report, Pan now admits his law may have had some unintended consequences. And while he first passed the buck to local health departments and told them to interpret the requirements themselves, he's now sponsoring an emergency measure that will repeal the glove-wearing requirement.
We'll update you if and when that passes.