California became the first state in the nation to implement a standard for working with the chemical food additive, diacetyl. The standard, General Industry Safety Orders §5197, would apply to all flavor and food manufacturing facilities that use diacetyl and flavorings that contain 1% or greater concentration of the chemical.
The standard also calls for quality control measures, ventilation standards, require proper personal ventilators to be worn by workers. Also, the standard calls for mandatory reporting requirements by companies to state authorities if one of their employees gets sick.
California continues to lead the states and the federal government on this issue. The federal government has consistently declined to regulate diacetyl and the FDA will not change its current GRAS (“generally recognized as safe”) designation. California should be commended for its actions regarding diacetyl.