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Capitol Office 
41-B East Wing, Main Captitol 
P.O. Box 202117
Harrisburg PA 17120-2117
Phone: (717) 787-1117
Fax: (717) 705-1889
Open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

District Offices
105 Lieutenant Michael Cleary Drive
Dallas, PA 18612
(570) 675-6000
Fax: (570) 255-0133
(800) 278-3930
Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

133 West Tioga St., Suite 4
Tunkhannock, PA 18657
(570) 836-4777
Fax: (570) 836-4772
Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Boback Provision Will Protect Restaurant Patrons

A measure advocated by Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) that would prohibit food employees from touching prepared food with their bare hands was included in House Bill 174, which will now head to the governor’s desk.  

“Despite efforts to improve food safety, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 76 million cases of food-borne illness occur in the United States every year,” said Boback.  “I am hopeful requiring all food service employees to wear gloves or use tongs or tissue paper when handling prepared food will reduce the number of these infections in Pennsylvania.” 

The Commonwealth already has stringent restrictions against the handling of food by employees who have been diagnosed with certain diseases and conditions, which could be spread through contact with food, including amebiasis, enterohemorrhagic E. coli, shigellosis, typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever, hepatitis A, viral hepatitis, jaundice of unspecified etiology, and persistent diarrhea.   

Boback’s measure will provide an extra protection because there are no restrictions for food handlers who may be infected with commonplace illnesses such as influenza or the cold virus.  A similar measure already exists in regulation, but when House Bill 174 is signed by the governor, it will be codified. 

“It is vital that we are meticulous about safe food handling at every step of the process – from the farm to the dinner table,” said Boback.  “When we patronize a restaurant or food vendor, we do so in good faith that they are taking the necessary steps to protect their customers from food poisoning.  My proposal provides another level of protection to ensure the health and safety of Pennsylvania’s citizens.” 

Rep. Karen Boback
117th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(570) 477-3752
(717) 787-1117
Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
(717) 783-8063
Member Site:
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