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Senate Bill No. 677 Retail Food Safety

Senate Bill No. 677CHAPTER 254 An act to amend Sections 113961 and 113973 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to food safety. [ Approved by Governor September 05, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State September 05, 2019. ]


SB 677, Allen. Retail food safety: nonlatex gloves.Existing law, the California Retail Food Code, establishes uniform health and sanitation standards for retail food facilities and delegates the enforcement of those standards to the State Department of Public Health and local health agencies. Existing law requires that food employees minimize bare hand and arm contact with nonprepackaged food that is in a ready-to-eat form. Existing law requires food employees to use utensils, including gloves, in certain situations, such as assembling ready-to-eat food. Existing law requires food employees to wear single-use gloves when contacting food and food-contact surfaces under certain conditions, including if an employee has cuts, sores, or rashes. A violation of these provisions is punishable by a fine of at least $25 and up to $1,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 6 months, or both.This bill would prohibit the use of latex gloves in food facilities and retail food establishments and require food employees to use nonlatex utensils, including nonlatex gloves. The bill would make related findings and declarations. By revising the standards enforced by local health agencies and changing the scope of an existing crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.


Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: yes Local Program: yes




 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:(a) Incidences of latex allergies have increased due to widespread exposure to products containing natural rubber latex. Up to 6 percent of people in the United States are estimated to have latex allergies, including up to 17 percent of health care and food service workers, 11 percent of the elderly, up to 73 percent of children with spina bifida, and up to 34 percent of children who have had more than three surgical procedures.(b) Latex allergies can be triggered by touching a product containing natural rubber latex, inhaling airborne latex protein particles, or ingesting food prepared using latex gloves. The symptoms of a latex allergy include itching, flushing, hives, rashes, swelling, asthma symptoms such as choking, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing, gastrointestinal reactions such as severe vomiting and diarrhea, confusion from hypoxia, and life-threatening anaphylactic reactions, which can include severe airway swelling, respiratory failure, a severe decline in blood pressure, and potentially death if not treated immediately.(c) The more often a person comes into contact with latex, the more likely the person is to develop a latex allergy. There is no cure for a latex allergy. Once a latex allergy develops, subsequent exposures to latex often dramatically increase the severity of, and result in smaller amounts of latex inducing, an allergic reaction. Those who suffer from latex allergies may suffer from cross-reactive food allergies or asthma. Latex allergy is often a progressive allergy for which there is no cure.(d) Anaphylactic reactions are caused by exposure to natural rubber latex and are the second most common cause of anaphylaxis in the operating room. Health care expenditures for treating accidental latex exposures are high due to the emergency resuscitative care that is required.(e) Life-threatening latex allergy reactions and the development of latex allergies can be prevented by avoiding all latex-related products, which can be found in health care environments, restaurants, childcare facilities, workplaces, schools, communities, and homes. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommend the use of nonlatex gloves for activities that are not likely to involve contact with infectious materials, such as food preparation.(f) Safer alternatives to latex gloves are readily available for use by food handlers, including nitrile, vinyl, and polyethylene gloves. Alternatives such as nitrile gloves offer the same or better barrier protection as latex gloves and are more resistant to puncturing than latex and vinyl counterparts. Because nitrile, polyethylene, and vinyl gloves are latex free, they make a safe alternative for those with latex allergies or sensitivities and can help prevent people from developing a latex allergy.(g) Health institutions such as Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Cleveland Clinic, Sharp Memorial Hospital, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, and many others have switched entirely to nonlatex gloves and nonlatex environments to protect both patients with latex allergies and hospital staff.

SEC. 2.

 Section 113961 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:


 (a) Food employees shall minimize bare hand and arm contact with nonprepackaged food that is in a ready-to-eat form.(b) Food employees shall use nonlatex utensils, including scoops, forks, tongs, paper wrappers, gloves, or other implements, to assemble ready-to-eat food or to place ready-to-eat food on tableware or in other containers. However, food employees may assemble or place on tableware or in other containers ready-to-eat food in an approved food preparation area without using utensils if hands are cleaned in accordance with Section 113953.3.(c) Food that has been served to the consumer and then wrapped or prepackaged at the direction of the consumer shall be handled only with utensils. These utensils shall be properly sanitized before reuse.

SEC. 3.

 Section 113973 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:


 (a) Single-use nonlatex gloves shall be worn when contacting food and food-contact surfaces if the employee has any cuts, sores, rashes, artificial nails, nail polish, rings, other than a plain ring, such as a wedding band, uncleanable orthopedic support devices, or fingernails that are not clean, smooth, or neatly trimmed.(b) Whenever gloves are worn, they shall be changed, replaced, or washed as often as handwashing is required by this part. Single-use gloves shall not be washed.(c) If used, single-use gloves shall be used for only one task, such as working with ready-to-eat food or with raw food of animal origin, used for no other purpose, and shall be discarded when damaged or soiled, or when interruptions in the food handling occur.(d) Except as specified in subdivision (e), nonlatex, slash-resistant gloves that are used to protect the hands during operations requiring cutting shall be used only with food that is subsequently cooked as specified in Section 114004, such as frozen food or a primal cut of meat.(e) Nonlatex, slash-resistant gloves may be used with ready-to-eat food that will not be subsequently cooked if the slash-resistant gloves have a smooth, durable, and nonabsorbent outer surface or if the slash-resistant gloves are covered with a smooth, durable, nonabsorbent glove, or a single-use glove.(f) Cloth gloves may not be used in direct contact with food unless the food is subsequently cooked.(g) The use of latex gloves is prohibited in food facilities and retail food establishments. Types of nonlatex gloves that may be used in a food facility or retail food establishment include, but are not limited to, nitrile, polyethylene, and vinyl.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.


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