Restaurant workers no longer have to worry about wearing their rubbers. After much debate among the food-handling community, the Oregon Health Authority announced earlier this week that proposed changes to the Food Code — which would have prohibited bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat-food — will proceed, but with the "glove rule" on the cutting room floor. Per a statement by Food, Pool and Lodging Health and Safety manager Eric Pippert:
At this time, we have decided to remove the bare-hand contact prohibition from the proposed rules because this issue needs further discussion. As a result of this decision, a second public hearing that you may have read or heard about to solicit additional feedback on the bare-hand contact prohibition will not be held. Instead, we will be forming a work group to focus solely on best regulatory standards for food service operators to keep food free of norovirus and other fecal contamination.
The proposed measure garnered national attention among the food/chef community, and at CNN's Eatocracy blog collects the fallout from foodborne illness experts and local chefs. Says Toro Bravo's John Gorham, for example: "I'll do what I think is best, but I'm not going to obey a law that will actually harm you."
· Update of the 2009 Food Code Adoption [MultCo News]
· Oregon Dismisses Glove Requirement for Restaurant Workers [CNN]
Image of rockin' gloves courtesy Paul Wicks via Flickr