New Law Puts Gloves On California Bartenders | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

New Law Puts Gloves On California Bartenders

Play associated audio

Bartender Cameron Hall hadn't heard of a new California law that bans culinary workers from touching uncooked food with their bare hands.

The rule applies to bartenders, who are now supposed to wear gloves to put limes in the mojitos and cherries in the Manhattans — even to scoop ice into a glass.

But when a reporter fills him in, Hall stops serving drinks at Rocco's Tavern, a little spot in downtown Culver City, just long enough to rant.

"It'd just be a pain," he says. "It'd be a nuisance. I'm gonna start making my customers wear gloves, in opposition!"

Hall says the law is unnecessary, as his bar is always on guard, ready for an unannounced food inspector to drop in, keeping up with multiple health and safety codes already on the books.

It's not just the nuisance of the gloves, he says. It's how they will change the art of bartending.

What would be the hardest thing to do with gloves on? Hall answers, "Shake hands."

California Assemblyman Richard Pan, a Democrat who heads the committee that introduced the glove rule, says the law is not that onerous.

For starters, Pan says the law was written after conversations between lawmakers, health officials and some of the establishments that would have to abide by the rule.

"The purpose of the law was not to force everyone to wear gloves, as much as to ensure that we have cleanliness and food safety in restaurants," he says.

Pan says regulators are still figuring out how they'll enforce the law. For the first six months, no one will be punished for not wearing gloves. They'll just get warnings.

Also, restaurants and bars can apply for exemptions to the rule if they adhere to strict training requirements and written guidelines.

Pan does admit, gloves can't fix all food safety issues.

"I think that we should keep our food clean and safe," he says. "That doesn't always mean wearing gloves. A glove by itself does not magically make everything clean."

Since the law passed, a change.org petition was launched to exempt bartenders from the glove rule. In just a few days, it got over 5,000 signatures.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 24

An aromatic exhibit turns art into eye candy and a new play explores a salacious mentorship.

NPR

With Help From America's Test Kitchen, Why Buy When You Can DIY?

Morning Edition host Renee Montagne talks to America's Test Kitchen's Chris Kimball about foods that are easier than you'd guess to make at home. Fresh Nutella or kale chips, anyone?
WAMU 88.5

Congress Unlikely To Approve Plan On Immigrant Children Until After Recess

The political response to the tens of thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children in the country is largely split along partisan lines, and legislation is not forthcoming.

NPR

A Plan To Untangle Our Digital Lives After We're Gone

In the digital age, our online accounts don't die with us. A proposed law might determine what does happen to them. But the tech industry warns the measure could threaten the privacy of the deceased.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.