GGRA News Archive

Changes to the California Retail Food Code – No Bare Hand Contact

Effective January 1 changes to the California Retail Food Code went into effect prohibiting bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. San Francisco Department of Public Health is mailing an official announcement to restaurants regarding this change. The change requires that there be no bare hand contact when handling ready to eat foods and requires the use of gloves and utensils.

San Francisco Department of Public Health has provided us with Questions and Answers they prepared for restaurants and a poster about the changes to bare hand contact, which inspectors will provide restaurants during their first routine visits of the year. Roll-out of the new requirements is expected to be gradual to allow the health department more time to do outreach and to educate restaurants about compliance.

CalCode section 113961(f) states that restaurants not serving “at-risk” populations may obtain an exemption that would provide pre-approval from local health departments for bare hand contact of ready to eat foods. The SF DPH mailer to restaurants instructs restaurants to contact their district inspectors about the process for exemptions and inspectors will work with restaurants to complete this process.

The GGRA will keep members apprised of details as more become available.

pdf San Francisco DPH Questions and Answers

pdf San Francisco DPH Poster

Read the full bill AB 1252 here:

Specific Section from AB 1252 (113961)“…(b) Except when washing fruits and vegetables, as specified in Section 113992 or as specified in subdivisions (e) and (f), food employees shall not contact exposed, ready-to-eat food with their bare hands and shall use suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment. (c) Food employees shall minimize bare hand and arm contact with exposed food that is not in a ready-to-eat form.”

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