Do you think restaurants should be able to opt out?
North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis is not so sure we need laws requiring food service employees to wash their hands:
Tillis made the declaration at to the Bipartisan Policy Center, at the end of a question and answer with the audience. He was relaying a 2010 anecdote about his “bias when it comes to regulatory reform.”
“I was having a discussion with someone, and we were at a Starbucks in my district, and we were talking about certain regulations where I felt like ‘maybe you should allow businesses to opt out,’” he said, “as long as they indicate through proper disclosure, through advertising, through employment literature, or whatever else.”
Restaurants can just opt-out and let the free market take care of business after word spreads of unsanitary conditions. Never mind that a lack of hand washing by food service employees accounts for the vast majority of food contamination:
The spread of germs from the hands of food workers to food is an important cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants. It accounts for 89% of outbreaks in which food was contaminated by food workers. Proper handwashing can reduce germs on workers’ hands and the spread of germs from hands to food and from food to other people.
Making sure business are free to operate under any conditions they'd like is apparently more important than public health and safety:
“That’s the sort of mentality that we need to have to reduce the regulatory burden on this country,” he added. “We’re one of the most regulated nations in the history of the planet.”
Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet joked that he was “not sure” he would shake Sen. Tillis’ hand when the discussion was over, causing the lawmaker and members of the audience to laugh.
Indeed. So, so gross. And to be clear, he offered up this suggestion at the very beginning of his talk. Watch his comments here:
No word on where he stands on mandatory vaccinations, seat belts, or other basic public safety issues.