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california legislation > SB 303

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Bill No: SB 303
Author: Padilla (D)
Amended: 7/11/11
Vote: 27 - Urgency

AYES: Hernandez, Strickland, Anderson, DeSaulnier, Wolk
NO VOTE RECORDED: Alquist, Blakeslee, De León, Rubio


SENATE FLOOR : 36-0, 4/14/11 (Consent)
AYES: Alquist, Anderson, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Calderon,
Cannella, Corbett, De León, DeSaulnier, Dutton, Emmerson,
Evans, Fuller, Hancock, Hernandez, Huff, Kehoe, La Malfa,
Leno, Lieu, Liu, Lowenthal, Negrete McLeod, Padilla,
Pavley, Price, Rubio, Runner, Simitian, Steinberg,
Strickland, Vargas, Walters, Wright, Wyland, Yee
NO VOTE RECORDED: Correa, Gaines, Harman, Wolk

ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 74-0, 8/18/11 (Consent) - See last page
for vote

SUBJECT : Food safety: food handlers

SOURCE : Author

DIGEST : This bill clarifies that existing law requiring
a food handler to obtain a food handler card only applies
to food handlers employed at a food facility that sells

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food for human consumption to the general public, requires
that after January 1, 2012, a food handler must obtain a
food handler card exclusively from a nationally accredited
training provider, and clarifies that snack bars, prisons
and county jails, and elderly nutrition programs are exempt
from the food handler certification requirements.

Assembly Amendments clarify that snack bars, prisons, and
county jails, and elderly nutrition programs are exempt
from food handler certificates requirements, expand the
definition of "food handler," and make technical changes.


Existing Law :

1. Establishes the California Retail Food Code (CalCode) to
govern all aspects of retail food safety and sanitation
in California.

2. Makes local environmental health departments primarily
responsible for enforcing CalCode through local food
safety inspection programs.

3. Requires food facilities that prepare, handle, or serve
non-prepackaged, non-potentially hazardous foods, except
temporary food facilities, to have an owner or employee
who has successfully passed an approved and accredited
food safety certification examination, as specified; and
demonstrate to the enforcement officer that the
employees have an adequate knowledge of food safety
principles as they relate to the specific operation
involved in their assigned duties.

4. Requires that there be at least one food safety
certified owner or employee at each food facility,
although this person is not required to be present at
the food facility during all hours of operation.

5. Requires a food handler, beginning January 1, 2011, to
obtain a food handler card from a food protection
manager certification organization accredited by the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI), as
specified, within 30 days after the date of hire, and to


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maintain a valid card for the duration of employment.

6. Requires a food handler who is hired prior to June 1,
2011, to obtain a card by July 1, 2011.

7. Exempts any food handler subject to an existing local
food handler program that took effect prior to January
1, 2009.

8. Defines a food handler as 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.

9. Requires at least one of the accredited food safety
certification examinations required under current law to
be offered online.

10.Directs the Department of Public Health to implement a
food safety certification and examination program, as

This bill:

1. States that the requirement of a food handler to obtain
a food handler card is limited to food handlers employed
at a food facility that stores, prepares, packages,
serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human
consumption at the retail level to the general public.

2. Requires an accredited food safety certification
examination that is provided with an in-person,
trainer-led class, or is offered online, to be proctored
under secure conditions.

3. Allows a food handler, prior to January 1, 2012, to
obtain a food handler card from either an ANSI
accredited training provider that meets American Society
for Testing and Materials International (ASTM
International) E2659-Standard Practice for Certificate
Programs or a food protection manager certification
organization as defined in current law.


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4. Requires a food handler, as of January 1, 2012, to
obtain a food handler card exclusively from an ANSI
accredited training provider that meets ASTM
International E2659-Standard Practice for Certification

5. Allows a food handler training course and examination to
be offered through a combination of a trainer-led class
and the use of a computer program or the Internet.

6. Requires the computer program or Internet to have
sufficient security channels and procedures to guard
against fraudulent activity.

7. Clarifies that snack bars, prisons and county jails, and
elderly nutrition programs are exempt from the food
handler certification requirements.


Food handler training course and assessment . The food
handler training course and assessment is intended to be an
overview of key elements of food safety that any person who
handles non-prepackaged food should know in order to
prevent foodborne illnesses from occurring. The food
handler training course and assessment is different from
the food protection manager certification. The manager
certification, which is only required of one person per
food facility, is a more in-depth and longer course, and
the test is lengthy and must be proctored. The food
handler certification does not, and is not intended to,
replace the manager certification. The food handler
training course and assessment focuses on key points taken
from the extensive food safety certification model. The
assessment does not require a proctor. Topics that are
covered include personal hygiene, time and temperature
control, preventing cross-contamination, cleaning and
sanitizing and job-specific guidelines.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ASTM
ANSI is a private, non-profit organization that oversees
the development of voluntary consensus standards for


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products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in
the United States. The Institute oversees the creation,
promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines
that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector.

Although ANSI itself does not develop standards, the
Institute oversees the development and use of standards by
accrediting the procedures of organizations that develop
standards. This process involves:

consensus by a group that is open to representatives
from all interested parties
broad-based public review and comment on draft standards
consideration of and response to comments
incorporation of submitted changes that meet the same
consensus requirements; into a draft standard
availability of an appeal by any participant alleging
that these principles were not respected during the
standards-development process

ASTM, originally known as the American Society for Testing
and Materials, is an international standards organization
that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical
standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems,
and services.

California Retail Food Code (CalCode) . CalCode is modeled
after the federal Model Food Code, which is drafted by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is updated every two
years. In 1985, the Legislature consolidated various
overlapping laws dealing with retail food into the
comprehensive California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law
(CURFFL). CalCode was established to repeal CURFFL,
through SB 144 (Runner), Chapter 23, Statutes of 2006, and
create uniformity between California's retail food safety
laws and those of other states. CalCode makes several
enhancements to the law it repealed relative to
documentation, uniformity and consistency, best available
science, at-risk populations, and flexibility of
provisions. With the enactment of CalCode, local
environmental health departments have refocused their food
facility inspections to emphasize violations relating to
the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
(CDC) identified foodborne illness risk factors and public


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health interventions. The CDC foodborne illness risk
factors are: food from unsafe sources; inadequate cooking;
improper holding temperatures; contaminated equipment; and,
poor personal hygiene. Public health interventions
identified by CDC include: demonstration of knowledge;
employee health; time and temperature control; hands as a
source of contamination; and, consumer advisories.

FISCAL EFFECT : Appropriation: No Fiscal Com.: Yes
Local: Yes

SUPPORT : (Verified 8/15/11)

Alameda County Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern
Amador County Sheriff Martin A. Ryan
Butte County Sheriff Jerry W. Smith
California Chamber of Commerce
California Restaurant Association
California State Sheriffs' Association
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood
Kings County Sheriff David Robinson
Lassen County Sheriff Dean F. Growden
Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter
Mono County Sheriff Richard C. Scholl
Placer County Sheriff Edward N. Bonner
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones
Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
Santa Cruz County Sherriff Phil Wowack
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson
Tuolumne County Sheriff James W. Mele

ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT : The California Restaurant
Association states that this bill reflects an ongoing
consensus and collaboration between the food industry,
regulators and environmental health officers to improve
food safety best practices and reduce foodborne illness in

ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 74-0, 8/18/11


SB 303

AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, Bill
Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bradford, Brownley,
Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, Carter,
Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, Donnelly, Eng,
Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Beth Gaines,
Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, Gordon, Grove, Hagman,
Halderman, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi, Roger Hernández, Huber,
Hueso, Huffman, Jeffries, Jones, Knight, Lara, Logue,
Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mansoor, Mendoza, Miller, Mitchell,
Monning, Morrell, Nestande, Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Pan,
Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, Portantino, Silva, Skinner,
Smyth, Solorio, Swanson, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams,
Yamada, John A. Pérez
NO VOTE RECORDED: Bonilla, Cedillo, Gorell, Hill, Torres,

CTW:do 8/18/11 Senate Floor Analyses


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