Foodservice Equipment Reports

Confusion In California

Clarity is not on the menu for restaurant operators in California. Tuesday, May 10, was the compliance date for a confusingly worded emergency regulation regarding bisphenol A (BPA) in “canned and bottled foods and beverages” sold in “a retail facility.”

The directive from the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment adopted an emergency regulation as a Proposition 65 “warning option” which appears focused on “retailers.” Got that? Neither do the state’s foodservice operators or the California Restaurant Association, which has provided its members with a link to a legal memo that the CRA sought on the issue.

The memo emphasizes that the Emergency Regulation “probably does not apply to restaurants.”

Proposition 65 places an independent obligation on “every business in the chain of distribution” to continue to provide the regulatory warning language that has been in place for over twenty years for restaurants. That warning language (“Restaurant Safe Harbor”) states as follows:

“Chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm may be present in foods or beverages sold or served here.”

The provided legal memo indicates that many restaurants are compliant as long as they are posting the currently required Proposition 65 signs. A restaurant with a retail shop, however, may want to provide the new BPA signage.

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