Michigan legislatorss introduced a bipartison food safety bill in an effort to help curb food poisoning outbreaks at restaurants. Measures included in the bill are:
• Every restaurant would be required to have at least one manager on staff who had passed an accredited food safety exam.
• Employees exhibiting symptoms of illness, including vomiting, diarrhea, or a sore throat with fever could not return to work until 24 hours after symptoms are gone. Employees with norovirus could not return to work until 48 hours after symptoms are gone.
• Bare-hand contact with food would be more closely regulated.
An Associated Press article quoted state legislators who had introduced the bill:
"We will help squash the types of high-risk practices that can result in food-borne illnesses such as norovirus outbreaks," said state Rep. Jeff Mayes, a Democrat from Bay City and sponsor of the bills along with Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom, a Republican from Norton Shores.
The legislation also would let the Michigan Department of Agriculture create rules for hiring managers and track certification of restaurant managers.
"There is nothing more important than food safety," Van Woerkom said at a news conference with Mayes and state Agriculture Director Mitch Irwin.