Gross: GOP Senator Wants To Let Restaurants “Opt Out” Of Handwashing Requirements

If I were to venture a guess, I would assume that most people on both sides of the aisle would be in favor of requiring people who work in restaurants to wash their hands after going to the bathroom. It has never occurred to me that wishing to avoid food poisoning might be a partisan issue. Figured we were all definitely on the same page with that one!

Alas, I was wrong! Everything is a partisan issue now, and apparently, my stance on handwashing is now just more proof that I am a dirty pinko commie.

Senator Thom Tillis (R-Salmonellaville) argued this week that restaurants should be allowed to “opt out” of requiring employees to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, as a fun way to reduce “regulatory burden.”

Via RawStory:

“I was having this 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,” Tillis recalled. “Let an industry or business opt out as long as they indicate through proper disclosure, through advertising, through employment, literature, whatever else. There’s this level of regulations that maybe they’re on the books, but maybe you can make a market-based decision as to whether or not they should apply to you.”

Tillis said that at about that time, a Starbucks employee came out of one of the restrooms.

“Don’t you believe that this regulation that requires this gentlemen to wash his hands before he serves your food is important?” Tillis was asked by the person at his table.

“I think it’s one I can illustrate the point,” Tillis told the women. “I said, I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says ‘We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restrooms.’ The market will take care of that.”

“That’s probably one where every business that did that would go out of business,” he added. “But I think it’s good to illustrate the point that that’s the sort of mentality that we need to have to reduce the regulatory burden on this country.”

“We’re one of the most regulated nations in the history of the planet, and I think if we go about it in a common sense way that that solves a lot of problems. It makes these other big problems that we’re talking about imminently more easy to solve.”

UM. I am going to give a big nope to this terrible, terrible idea. I do not think the “market” would take care of this particular issue, as people are probably not paying that much attention to signage when they run in to a Starbucks to get their Pumpkin Spice Lattes or whatever in the first place.

Plus, it would be annoying as hell. Say it’s winter, and you just wanted to run in and grab some coffee, and you happen to run into a Starbucks that has made handwashing optional? You, the consumer, then have to potentially be late to work or wherever because you were running around trying to find a coffee shop that required its employees to wash their hands. Isn’t it better if we just straight up require all employees handling food to wash their hands after they poop? Shouldn’t everyone be doing this anyway?

What kind of money is it that he thinks would even be going towards regulating handwashing? And wouldn’t requiring businesses to post signage declaring their non-handwashing stance be a “regulation” in and of itself? I mean, I get that this dude has a lot of confidence in the magic invisible hand of the market, and that’s nice for him and all, but I’d rather not take that particular risk.