Wait, what?! Senator thinks restaurant workers shouldn't have to wash hands

Feb 6, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., recently said that restaurants should have the choice of opting out of health department regulations, such as hand-washing, to make such businesses easier to run.

But there's gotta be a better way to lessen "regulatory burden" than saying restaurant workers shouldn't have to wash their hands after they... lessen their burdens, if you know what I mean.

Uhh... OK. He goes on to say that businesses could opt out of the policy but would be required to say that they had, and that "the market will take care of that."

But would it? Most restaurants have the "Employees are required to wash hands before returning to work" signs in the bathroom. If you don't go to the bathroom, you would never know whether or not they adhered to the policy. That chocolate-dipped cone from Dairy Queen just got a whole lot sketchier! I'd think twice before getting that frozen lemonade too.


What are some other regulations we could do away with to make restaurant management easier? How about those pesky liquor licenses? As long as a restaurant posts a sign saying "We don't card," the market will totally take care of it. No way will underage drinkers set up shop in such a place. People will just stop going!

And what about rats? A "Pastrami Sandwich/Rat Circus" sign should make it OK. As long as people know there are rats partying in the pantry, it should totally be allowed.

But wait. Who will enforce the use of the legally necessary opt-out signs that take the place of the posted regulation signs? Restaurant inspectors will need to make sure that all these signs are still posted. Which is certainly the same amount of regulatory burden placed upon the inspector.

And when the inevitable outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella hit, how will hospitals deal with the increased patient load?

And when all those pesky 13-year-olds start drinking carafes of Chablis with their Happy Meals, how will cities deal with the inevitable destruction — never mind dangerous medical issues — that will ensue?

In fact, could doing away with hand-washing regulations destroy modern life as we know it?

OK, well maybe let's not go that far. But as far as I'm concerned, there are much better examples Sen. Tillis could have used than the (in my opinion) very necessary hand-washing regulation. Speaking of which, remind me to never eat dinner at his house, just in case!

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