California Restaurant Association (CRA) staff submitted a letter to the council outlining the serious public health and safety risks due to using reusable bags for prepared food to-go as well as operational challenges for restaurants should the city include restaurants within the ordinance.
Over several phone and email conversations with city staff to illustrate food safety and prevention of food borne illness is a top priority for local restaurants. The co-mingling of non food items with perishable food items within a reusable bag can expose food to a network of germs and bacteria. Additionally, many people do not wash their reusable bags, which are often kept in car trunks for convenience - an environment that can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
City staff deliberated with city councilmembers and chose to not include eating establishments within the ordinance. On Tuesday, August 18, the American Canyon City Council voted 4-1 in favor of the plastic bag ban that will go into effect January 1, 2016.