SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – As more Californians have their groceries and alcohol delivered, lawmakers are making a push to regulate how the food is stored, including training drivers on proper handling and temperatures.
Assembly Bill 1360 passed the full Assembly in May by a 44-25 vote (11 Assemblymembers did not vote.) It then passed several Senate Committees before being ordered to the inactive file in mid-September.
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If it passes, food delivery platforms would be required to train drivers about maintaining foods at required temperatures, along with requirements relating to food spoilage and adulteration. Companies would also need to maintain liability insurance.
The bill specifically applies to app-based grocery delivery services, including Instacart and Shipt, which allow customers to select grocery items on an app and then, for a fee, a personal shopper goes to pick up the items. It does not apply to grocery chains offering their own home delivery, nor to food delivery services such as GrubHub or DoorDash.
Opponents to the bill raised concerns that the provisions don’t extend to restaurant deliveries.
The bill’s author, Asm. Phil Ting, wrote, “the rapid growth of online food and alcohol delivery services has the potential to expose customers to unsafe
and unregulated delivery practices. This bill establishes basic safety standards for grocery delivery services, consistent with safety requirements imposed on
brick and mortar grocery stores. A growing number of Californians order groceries online and have them delivered directly to their home. Food retail
establishments are subject to strict regulations regarding the handling of food to protect consumer and employee health and safety. Delivery companies expose
consumer goods to the same risks as may arise for the food retailer, yet they are not subject to regulatory oversight. This bill is to ensure that consumers who
choose to use a delivery service receive uncontaminated, safe food and that platform workers receive the appropriate training and certification to perform
their job duties.”
If the bill becomes law, those found violating the regulations would face a fine.