It’s addition case of our abstruse legislators at work. Two weeks ago I wrote about the actuality that aftermost September CB 602 was active into law, acute anyone who works in a restaurant to accept a Aliment Handler Card. The law took aftereffect July 1, but the botheration was that no one clearly told the restaurants. The chat trickled out, and the accompaniment and instituted a adroitness aeon so the adjustment won’t be activated until January. After that, all restaurant workers accept to accept a agenda or face the acrimony of the canton bloom inspectors.
However, if you attending carefully at the bill, you’ll see why it’s alarmingly flawed. I can get abaft the abstraction that anyone who handles aliment should accept training. It could be actual accessible in preventing aliment contagion and contamination, so what’s the harm? I took the analysis and abstruse a few things, and I’m abiding anyone apparently would. The training is minimal, but it at atomic makes workers stop and anticipate about how they handle food.
Turns out alone a attenuated bandage of bodies who assignment with aliment absolutely will be appropriate to booty the test. If you assignment in a aliment truck, pop-up restaurant or academy cafeteria, or you adapt aliment awash in a grocery store, you don’t accept to accept the card.
Another exemption: If you’re covered by a aggregate acceding acceding — i.e., a affiliate of a union. What that agency is that at Terra in St. Helena all advisers accept to be agenda accustomed aliment handlers, but if they assignment at Ame, its sister restaurant in San Francisco’s St. Regis Hotel, area advisers are unionized, they get a pass.
After my aftermost blog about this law, I accustomed an email from Jot Condie, admiral and CEO of the California Restaurant Association, adage he’d be accommodating to altercate the bearings and accord some of the background. In our buzz chat he told me that the abstraction of the bill was advancing for about 10 years and didn’t get abundant absorption until the You Tube video two years ago that showed two advisers corruption food. The video went viral and it was best up on abounding civic account shows.
Condie said the aboriginal bill was absolute but over time its ambit was narrowed to retail sales. “I can’t explain abroad all of them,” he said. “Through (the legislative) process, a lot of these exceptions occurred over time.”
He continued: “When you accept acute aliment populations- hospital, schools and age-old populations there’s alike added of a rationale. The hospitals and schools fabricated credibility they go through training. They were authoritative these arguments individually, and the unions additionally fabricated a case that if you’re a card- accustomed affiliate of the abutment alive in the aliment account industry, there’s apprenticeship that goes forth with that.”
I alleged the appointment of Accompaniment Sen. Alex Padilla and talked to Taryn Kinney, his columnist agent and aldermanic aide. In an email she wrote: “In drafting SB 602 and 303 Senator Padilla paralleled the ambit of SB 1420 (menu labeling) active in 2008. Both bills activated to restaurants.” That bill deals with restaurants with assorted locations, while aliment administration practices should accord with every akin of aliment service, but that’s not the case. I asked Kinney what blazon of training hospital workers and abutment advisers get to acquiesce the exemptions and she said she’d get aback to me. Her email, however, didn’t awning that aspect of the bill so I began to alarm the assorted unions.
I talked to Joan Ortega of the Auberge Restaurant Labor Administration Apprenticeship Fund in San Francisco. She works with both the unions and auberge administration to accord training in animal harassment, sanitation and added issues confronted by abutment works. She said that all abutment chefs and sous chefs accept to go through a sanitation affairs to be certified (independent restaurants additionally accept to accept addition on agents who holds a sanitation certificate). However, there are no requirements beneath that level. She alone gives training back the auberge calls for the service. Abounding do, but afresh there’s no action that you accept to accept training afore you accompany the union.
She additionally couldn’t allocution about hospital and academy cafeteria workers because they accord to a altered union. From what I’ve witnessed, at atomic in some nursing facilities, the standards are lax.
In our buzz conversation, Kinney said grocery aliment were exempted because they don’t adapt food. It’s accurate that some don’t, but abounding do and alike aperture bales and announcement aliment crave ability of acceptable sanitation practices. Why acting restaurants are exempted was never explained.
Even above Gov. Arnold Schwarzenner was aghast with the loopholes in the bill, but alleged it a acceptable aboriginal step, according to Condie. So while Sen. Padilla touts that 900,000 workers will be trained, I’m added anxious about the hundreds of bags who don’t accept to get the card.
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