AB 1252 is now law (CalCode Section 113961). The law requires that there be no bare hand contact with "ready-to-eat" foods. As a result, bartenders must wear disposable gloves when preparing drinks and their garnishes, and we need to change that!
We are in the midst of our country's second cocktail renaissance, and bartenders up and down the state of California are creating amazing experiences for their guests. A big part of that experience is the use of fresh ingredients, both those that are mixed into the drink and the garnishes that grace the glass. These bartenders take great care to create the perfect drink, using only the freshest fruits and herbs, handling them with their skilled and freshly washed hands.
Another element of bartending is the visual experience: today's bartenders deftly pour, stir, shake, and strain their drinks with precision, style and grace. Forcing them to wear disposable gloves will completely ruin the show.
Bartenders wash their hands continually throughout their shifts--shake hands with one and you'll know. By forcing them to wear disposable gloves, we will be creating a mountain of waste, and potentially fostering more germ transfer because wearers of gloves are less likely to change them after making drinks and handling money--activities that would normally prompt a hand washing among the un-gloved.
While I'm sure the state legislature had our best interests in mind when they created this law, I am equally sure they were not attempting to protect us from bartenders smacking a sprig of mint with their bare hands or expressing the oil of an orange twist above a cocktail.
Please join me in asking that California State Assemblyman and Committee on Health Chairman Dr. David Pan swiftly create a legal pathway to exempt bartenders from this law and its ridiculous unintended consequences.
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