BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1252
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  April 2, 2013

                            ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
                                 Richard Pan, Chair
             AB 1252 (Committee on Health) - As Introduced:  February 22,  
          SUBJECT  :  Retail food safety.

           SUMMARY  :  Makes various technical, clarifying, and conforming  
          changes to the California Retail Food Code (CRFC), the state's  
          principal law governing food safety and sanitation in retail  
          food facilities.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Defines the term "hot dog" in the CRFC and clarifies that the  
            reheating and selling of hot dogs constitutes limited food  

          2)Conforms the definition of "service animal" to the definition  
            contained in the federal Americans for Disabilities Act.  

          3)Requires food handler employees to wash their hands before  
            initially donning gloves for working with food and when  
            changing tasks, as specified.  Clarifies that handwashing is  
            not required between glove changes when no contamination of  
            the gloves or hands has occurred.

          4)Specifies the circumstances under which single-use gloves must  
            be worn and prohibits these gloves from being re-used.

          5)Requires an employee with a wound to take specified  
            precautions when contacting food and prohibits an employee who  
            has an open or draining wound from handling food.

          6)Authorizes food facilities to use temporary alternative  
            storage methods, such as a trailer, for food storage during  
            holidays, emergencies, remodels or other circumstances, if  
            approved by the local environmental health department (LEHD). 

          7)Makes clarifying changes to provisions governing the cleansing  
            and sanitization of equipment and utensils.

          8)Clarifies floor, wall, and ceiling surface requirements for  
            employee dressing rooms, dressing areas, or locker areas.


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          9)Specifies potable water requirements for mobile food  
            facilities that operate at community events.

          10)Clarifies adequate water heater capacity requirements for  
            mobile food facilities with dish washing sinks.

          11)Specifies that existing law prohibiting the use of trans fats  
            in all food facilities and governing compliance and  
            enforcement applies to both temporary and mobile food  


          EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Establishes the CRFC to govern all aspects of retail food  
            safety and sanitation in California and makes LEHDs primarily  
            responsible for enforcing the CRFC through local food safety  
            inspection programs.

          2)Defines a food handler to mean an individual who is involved  
            in the preparation, storage, or service of food in a food  
            facility, other than an individual holding a valid food safety  
            certificate or an individual involved in the preparation,  
            storage, or service of food in a temporary food facility.

          3)Requires all food employees to follow specified hygienic  
            practices, including handwashing and the use of gloves.

          4)Requires food employees to report to the person in charge of a  
            food facility when a food employee has a wound that is open or  
            draining, unless specified conditions to cover or protect the  
            wound are met.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  This bill has not yet been analyzed by a fiscal  

           COMMENTS  :

           1)PURPOSE OF THIS BILL  .  According to the sponsor, the  
            California Retail Food Safety Coalition, a broad-based  
            stakeholder group of government regulators and the retail food  
            industry, this bill is intended as a clean-up measure to make  
            several technical, non-controversial clarifications and  
            conforming changes to the CRFC.  The sponsor states that the  


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            changes in this bill are needed to ensure the best and most  
            effective implementation of the state's principal retail food  
            sanitation law. 

          Specifically, among other things, this bill clarifies provisions  
            in the CRFC related to hand-washing procedures and glove use  
            when working with food and establishes sanitary precautions  
            that employees with wounds must take when coming into contact  
            with food in order to eliminate cross-contamination and  
            food-borne illness risk.  The sponsor notes that the  
            definition of hot dog is also needed to provide vendors with  
            the legal parameters of what constitutes a hot dog and prevent  
            a raw item, such as bratwurst, from being considered a hot dog  
            because it requires more than limited food preparation and  
            could make consumers sick, if not handled properly with regard  
            to time and temperature controls.  Lastly, the sponsor states  
            that refrigerated food trailers are commonly used by  
            restaurants and grocery stores during holidays, emergencies,  
            remodels, or other high sales volume times, but the CRFC does  
            not specifically authorize the use of any alternate storage  
            methods and, as a result, LEHDs lack the ability to approve  
            their use.  This bill will allow LEHDs to authorize the use of  
            trailers and other temporary food storage alternatives under  
            these circumstances.

           2)BACKGROUND  .  The CRFC is modeled after the federal Food and  
            Drug Administration's (FDA) Model Food Code (Food Code), which  
            is updated every four years to enhance food safety laws based  
            on the best available science.  Between each four-year period,  
            the FDA makes available a Food Code Supplement that updates,  
            modifies, or clarifies certain provisions.  The Food Code  
            assists food control jurisdictions at all levels of government  
            by providing them with a scientifically sound technical and  
            legal basis for regulating the retail and food service segment  
            of the industry, such as restaurants, grocery stores, and  
            institutions like nursing homes.  Forty-eight states and  
            territories have adopted food codes patterned after the Food  
            Code, representing 80% of the US population.  

           3)SUPPORT  .  The sponsor writes in support that it has been  
            continuously reviewing and updating the CRFC since its  
            inception to make it more consistent with the FDA Food Code  
            and working to proactively address implementation issues  
            through an open, inclusive and collaborative process.   
            According to the sponsor, the changes in this bill, such as  


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            updating food-to-hand contact practices; conforming changes to  
            the definition of service animal; specifying handling  
            requirements for cured meats such as hot dogs; and, clarifying  
            requirements for employee dressing rooms and storage areas,  
            represent consensus language drafted by the sponsor.  The  
            California Association of Environmental Health Administrators,  
            which represents all county environmental health departments,  
            notes in support that virtually all retail food safety  
            requirements are contained in statute and the largely  
            technical changes in this bill need to be done through  
            legislation.  The American Federation of State, County and  
            Municipal Employees adds that this bill enhances requirements  
            for food preparation and sanitation and further protects all  
            Californians from food-borne illness.
           4)TECHNICAL AMENDMENT  .  On page 11, line 32, delete  

           5)PRIOR LEGISLATION  .  

             a)   SB 359 (Ed Hernandez) of 2012 would have enacted  
               provisions substantially similar to this bill.  These  
               provisions were subsequently removed and the bill was  
               amended to deal with a different subject. 

             b)   SB 946 (Steinberg), Chapter 650, Statutes of 2011, also  
               would have included provisions substantially similar to  
               this bill.  These provisions were deleted and the chaptered  
               version of SB 946 was amended to deal with health care  
               coverage for pervasive developmental disorder or autism.

             c)   SB 241 (George Runner), Chapter 571, Statutes of 2009,  
               makes a number of clean up changes to the CRFC and provides  
               for the regulation of temporary and mobile food facilities  
               under the CRFC.

             d)   SB 1359 (George Runner) of 2008, which was substantially  
               similar to SB 241, was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger  
               who, in his veto message, stated that it was due to the  
               historic delay in passing the 2008-09 State Budget and the  
               bill did not meet the standard of the highest priority for  

             e)   SB 744 (George Runner), Chapter 96, Statutes of 2007,  
               makes numerous technical, clarifying, and nonsubstantive  


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               changes to the CRFC.

             f)   SB 144 (George Runner), Chapter 23, Statutes of 2006,  
               repeals and reenacts the California Uniform Retail Food  
               Facilities Law as the CRFC.



          California Retail Food Safety Coalition (sponsor)
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
          California Association of Environmental Health Administrators
          California Retailers Association


           None on file.
          Analysis Prepared by :    Cassie Royce / HEALTH / (916) 319-2097