A bill to head off a potential big headaches for restaurants and other eateries is finally headed to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.
And it includes a free pass for county sheriffs.
Senate Bill 303, which was given final legislative approval this week, tries to fix problems in a new state law designed to protect consumers from nasty food-borne illnesses by requiring workers to get training in sanitary food handling.
The requirement that workers get food handler "cards" was creating lots of confusion, especially among mom-and-pop establishments. So county health officials plan to grant an unofficial grace period until Jan. 1 before real enforcement begins.
The law has a long and tortuous history, as detailed in this piece from April.
Influential lobby groups won carve-outs from the bill. Health care facilities, and public and private school cafeterias were exempted. So were farmers markets, most grocery stores and many national chain restaurants. Unionized food facilities were exempted.
SB 303, given final passage by the Senate on Monday, adds county jails and state prisons, as well as elderly feeding programs, to the exempt list. The measure also clarifies that the food handler law only covers those who serve the general public at the retail level.