BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
                          Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D., Chair

          BILL NO:       AB 1252
          AUTHOR:        Committee on Health
          AMENDED:       June 19, 2013
          HEARING DATE:  June 26, 2013
          CONSULTANT:    Marchand

           SUBJECT  :  Retail food safety.
          SUMMARY  :  Makes numerous technical, clarifying and conforming  
          changes to the California Retail Food Code.

          Existing law:
          1.Establishes the California Retail Food Code (Food Code) to  
            regulate retail food safety, which is enforced by local  
            environmental health officers.

          2.Establishes, within the Food Code, provisions of law governing  
            "cottage food operations," which are defined, in part, as  
            having less than $35,000 in gross annual sales in 2013, rising  
            to $50,000 in 2015 and thereafter.  Defines a "Class A"  
            cottage food operation as only engaging in direct sales, and  
            "Class B" as engaging in either direct or indirect sales, such  
            as from third-party retail food facilities.

          3.Includes the steaming or boiling of hot dogs in the definition  
            of "limited food preparation," which does not have to meet all  
            of the requirements of the Food Code.

          4.Requires food employees to minimize bare hand and arm contact  
            with non-prepackaged food that is in a ready-to-eat form,  
            which is defined as food that is edible without additional  
            preparation to achieve food safety.

          This bill:
          1.Defines "hot dog," for purposes of the Food Code, as a whole,  
            cured, cooked sausage that is skinless or stuffed in a casing,  
            that may be known as a frankfurter, frank, furter, wiener, red  
            hot, Vienna, bologna, garlic bologna, or knockwurst, and that  
            may be served in a bun or roll.

          2.Revises the definition of a "service animal," for purposes of  
            the Food Code, to limit it to only dogs, and excludes any  
            other species of animals.


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          3.Requires the work or tasks performed by a service animal, for  
            purposes of the Food Code, to be directly related to the  
            individual's disability, as specified, and specifies that the  
            crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence or the  
            provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or  
            companionship do not constitute work or tasks for purposes of  
            the Food Code.

          4.Deletes a requirement that a lesion or wound be open or  
            draining before triggering certain specified reporting  
            requirements, and instead prohibits an employee with a wound  
            that is open or draining from handling food.

          5.Specifies that a food employee who has a wound, which is  
            defined as a cut, sore, rash or lesion, is restricted from  
            food handling unless the food employee complies with all of  
            the following:

                  a.        If the wound is located on the hand or wrist,  
                    an impermeable cover, such as a finger cot or stall,  
                    is protecting the wound, with a single-use glove worn  
                    over the impermeable cover;
                  b.        If the wound is located on exposed portions of  
                    the arms, an impermeable cover protects the wound;  
                  c.        If the wound is located on other parts of the  
                    body, a dry, durable, tight-fitting bandage covers the  

          6.Clarifies that hand-washing is only required prior to  
            initially donning gloves for working with food, and not  
            between glove changes when no contamination of the gloves or  
            hands has occurred.

          7.Repeals provisions of law that permit food employees to  
            minimize bare hand and arm contact with non-prepackaged food  
            that is in a ready-to-eat form, and instead prohibits food  
            employees from contacting exposed, ready-to-eat food with  
            their bare hands, using suitable utensils such as deli tissue,  
            spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment.

          8.Requires food employees to minimize bare hand and arm contact  
            with exposed food that is not in a ready-to-eat form.

          9.Permits food employees to contact exposed, ready-to-eat food  


                                                            AB 1252 | Page  


            with bare hands at the time the ready-to-eat food is being  
            added as an ingredient to a food that is going to be cooked to  
            specified temperatures.

          10.Permits food employees not serving a highly susceptible  
            population to contact exposed, ready-to-eat food with their  
            bare hands if specified requirements are met, including the  

                  a.        The retail food facility permit holder obtains  
                    prior approval from the regulatory authority;
                  b.        Written procedures are maintained in the food  
                    facility that include a list of the specific  
                    ready-to-eat foods that are touched by bare hands, and  
                    diagrams and other information showing that  
                    hand-washing facilities are in an easily accessible  
                    location and in close proximity to the work station  
                    where the bare hand contact procedures is being  
                  c.        A written employee health policy that details  
                    the manner in which the food facility complies with  
                    specified provisions of law, including provisions  
                    requiring employees to report to their managers about  
                    their health as it relates to gastrointestinal  
                    symptoms and diseases that are transmittable through  
                  d.        Documentation that food employees have  
                    received training, as specified, including proper  
                    hand-washing techniques, good hygienic practices, and  
                    the risks of contacting the specific ready-to-eat  
                    foods with bare hands; and,
                  e.        Documentation that food employees contacting  
                    ready-to-eat foods with bare hands use two or more of  
                    the following control measures: double hand-washing,  
                    nail brushes, a hand antiseptic after hand-washing, or  
                    incentive programs such as paid sick leave to  
                    encourage food employees not to report to work if they  
                    are ill.

          11.Permits temporary alternative food storage methods and  
            locations to be approved by the local enforcement agency.

          12.Prohibits equipment and utensils, after they have been  
            cleaned and sanitized, from being rinsed before air drying or  
            use unless the rinse is applied directly from a potable water  


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            supply by a ware-washing machine that meets specified  
            requirements, or the rinse is applied only after the equipment  
            and utensils have been sanitized by the application of hot  
            water or by the application of a chemical sanitizer whose  
            instructions requiring rinsing off the sanitizer after it is  

          13.Exempts employee dressing and locker areas from requirements  
            that floors, walls and ceilings be smooth and of durable  
            construction and non-absorbent material that is easily  

          14.Clarifies that existing law prohibiting the use of artificial  
            trans-fats applies to mobile food facilities and mobile  
            support units, and to temporary food facilities.

          15.Requires potable water and liquid waste disposal facilities  
            to be available to mobile food facilities requiring potable  
            water in order for mobile food facilities that are operating  
            at community events, to be exempt from operating in  
            conjunction with a commissary or mobile support unit.

          16.Increases the minimum capacity of water heaters required for  
            mobile food facilities from three gallons to four gallons for  
            facilities that have a ware-washing sink, but grandfathers in  
            existing three gallon water tanks.

          17.Permits a local enforcement agency to allow a temporary food  
            facility, operating no more than four hours per day at a  
            single event, to provide an adequate supply of washed and  
            sanitized utensils in lieu of a ware-washing sink.

          18.Permits a local enforcement agency to allow up to eight  
            temporary food facilities to share a ware-washing sink, rather  
            than the current limit of up to four.

          19.Limits the definition of "direct sale," for purposes of  
            provisions of law pertaining to cottage food operations, to  
            transactions that are within the state.

          20.Requires a "Class A" cottage food operation to renew its  
            registration annually.

          21.Requires a person who prepares or packages cottage food  
            products to complete a food processor course every three years  
            during operation, in addition to the existing law requirement  


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            that a course be completed within three months of becoming  

          22.Requires the words "Repackaged in a Home Kitchen" to be  
            included on a cottage food product display panel, if  
            applicable rather than the existing law requirement of "Made  
            in a Home Kitchen," along with a description of any purchased  
            whole, ready-to-eat product that is not used as an ingredient.

          23.Makes other technical and clarifying changes to the Food  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, there are no significant costs associated with this  

           PRIOR VOTES  :  
          Assembly Health:    18- 0
          Assembly Appropriations:17- 0
          Assembly Floor:     76- 0
          COMMENTS  :  
           1.Author's statement.  This bill is intended as a clean-up  
            measure to make several technical, non-controversial  
            clarifications and conforming changes to the Food Code.  The  
            changes in this bill are needed to ensure the best and most  
            effective implementation of the state's principal retail food  
            sanitation law. The provisions of this bill reflect consensus  
            reached by the sponsor, the California Retail Food Safety  
            Coalition, a broad-based stakeholder group comprised of  
            federal, state and local regulators and the retail food  
            industry. If opposition to any of these provisions arises,  
            those provisions will be removed from the bill.

          Specifically, the author states that this bill: a) defines the  
            term "hot dog in the Food Code and clarifies that the  
            reheating and selling of hot dogs constitutes limited food  
            preparation; b) conforms the definition of "service animal" to  
            the definition contained in the federal Americans with  
            Disability Act; c) requires food handler employees to wash  
            their hands before initially donning gloves for working with  
            food and when changing tasks rather than every time they put  
            on gloves; d) clarifies that hand-washing is not required  
            between glove changes when no contamination of the gloves or  
            hands has occurred; e) specifies the circumstances under which  


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            single-use gloves must be worn and prohibits these gloves from  
            being re-used; f) 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;  
            g) authorizes local enforcement agencies to approve temporary  
            alternative storage methods and locations; h) makes clarifying  
            changes related to cleansing and sanitization of equipment and  
            utensils, floor, wall and ceiling surface requirements for  
            employee dressing rooms and locker areas; i) specifies potable  
            water requirements for mobile food facilities that operate at  
            community events; j) clarifies adequate water heater capacity  
            requirements for mobile food facilities with dish washing  
            sinks; and k) specifies that existing law prohibiting the use  
            of trans fats in all food facilities applies to mobile food  
            facilities, mobile support units, and temporary food  
            facilities that operate at a swap meet or community event.

          2.Issues being addressed by this bill.  According to the author,  
            most of the problems that this bill is addressing are  
            technical.  The author gave three specific examples: 

               a.     Hot dogs. The Food Code currently allows hot holding  
                 of hot dogs on carts, as was formerly accepted under  
                 California's previous food safety law (the California  
                 Uniform Retail Food Facility Law, which was repealed and  
                 replaced with the Food Code in 2006). However, the  
                 statutory definition of "hot dog" was deleted when the  
                 Food Code was enacted. This definition is necessary to  
                 clarify that a bratwurst, for example, is not considered  
                 a hot dog because it is fresh and uncured, and requires  
                 more than limited food preparation and could make  
                 consumers sick if not handled properly with regard to  
                 time and temperature controls.
               b.     Service animals. The federal regulations for the  
                 Americans with Disabilities Act were revised in 2010.  
                 Among these revisions, the definition of "service animal"  
                 was revised and clarified; the definition of "service  
                 animal" in the Food Code is not consistent with this  
                 revised definition.
               c.     Temporary alternative food storage. Refrigerated  
                 food trailers are commonly used by restaurants and  
                 grocery stores during holidays, emergencies, remodels, or  
                 other high sales volume times, but the Food Code does not  
                 specifically authorize the use of any alternative storage  
                 methods. This bill permits local health agencies to  
                 approve temporary alternative food storage methods and  


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          3.Prior legislation. SB 359 (Hernandez) of 2012 would have  
            enacted provisions substantially similar to this bill.  These  
            provisions were subsequently removed and the bill was amended  
            to address a different subject matter. 

          SB 946 (Steinberg), Chapter 650, Statutes of 2011, also would  
            have included provisions substantially similar to this bill.   
            These provisions were deleted and the bill was amended to  
            address a different subject matter.

          SB 241 (George Runner), Chapter 571, Statutes of 2009, enacted a  
            number of clean up changes to the Food Code and provided for  
            the regulation of temporary and mobile food facilities under  
            the Food Code.

          SB 1359 (George Runner) of 2008, was substantially similar to SB  
            241.  This bill was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. In his  
            veto message, the Governor 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  

          SB 744 (George Runner), Chapter 96, Statutes of 2007, enacted  
            numerous technical, clarifying, and non-substantive changes to  
            the Food Code.

          SB 144 (George Runner), Chapter 23, Statutes of 2006, repealed  
            and reenacted the California Uniform Retail Food Facilities  
            Law as the Food Code.
          4.Support.  The California Association of Environmental Health  
            Administrators (CAEHA), which represents all 62 local  
            environmental health departments, states in support that  
            because virtually all retail food safety requirements are  
            contained in statute, changes to retail food safety need to be  
            done through legislation.  CAEHA states that fifteen years  
            ago, local, state and federal regulators, representatives from  
            all sectors of the retail food industry, academia and other  
            public and private stakeholders formed the California Retail  
            Food Safety Coalition in order to work on retail food safety  
            issues.  Since its inception, this coalition has been  
            continuously reviewing and updating the Food Code to make it  
            more consistent with the model federal food safety code and  


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            have been proactively addressing the Food Code implementation  
            issues in an open, inclusive and collaborative process. CAEHA  
            states that the changes contained in this bill represent  
            consensus language drafted by the coalition. The California  
            Retailers Association (CRA) states in support that it is a  
            founding member of the California Retail Food Safety  
            Coalition. The CRA states that although technical in nature,  
            this bill updates food-to-hand contact practice, conforms  
            federal law changes to the definition of service animals,  
            clarifies food worker health requirements, and updates  
            handling requirements for certain cured meats. The American  
            Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO,  
            states that this bill streamlines requirements for food  
            preparation and sanitation, and further protects all  
            Californians from diseases and illness.

          5.What is a "Highly Susceptible Population?" This bill generally  
            prohibits food employees from contacting ready-to-eat food  
            with their bare hands, but permits bare hand contact in  
            limited, specified circumstances as long as the food employees  
            are "not serving a highly susceptible population."  This term  
            is not defined in the bill, and it is unclear how local  
            enforcement agencies will enforce this provision.

          Support:  American Federation of State, County and Municipal  
                    Employees, AFL-CIO
                    California Retailers Association
                    California Association of Environmental Health  

          Oppose:   None received

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