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Bare Hands and Food Service.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

In California, chefs fight for bare-hand contact

From the above link :

 

"California is a straggler in banning bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat food. A state-by-state review of food codes shows 41 other states have a version of the legislation signed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

 

In all these states, chefs and bartenders must keep bare hands off food going straight to the plate or the drink glass, from the rice in a sushi roll to the mint in a mojito. Instead, they must use utensils or gloves. Hock Farm owner Randy Paragary says bringing this rule to California disrupts well-established hand-washing routines, generates unnecessary waste and restricts his employees' in their craft."

 

Opinions?

post #2 of 20

Gloves create a false sense of security.

post #3 of 20

I can just see my bartender dawning a pair of crappy vinyl gloves to put a twist in my martini.

As Kuan stated, gloves provide a false sense of security.

I am in Washington on the Oregon border and am required to wear gloves. My counterparts three miles away in Oregon do not have to wear gloves, only to "minimize" bare hand contact.

 

I probably wash my hands at least 30 times a day and still have to wear gloves. When was the last time the guy working the line changed his gloves? How many times has he put meat on the grill, cracked an egg, wiped the sweat off his brow or picked his arse with those gloves on then made my cold cut sandwich?

post #4 of 20

Exactly.  For me it's easier to tell if my hands are dirty than if the gloves are dirty.  At least I can feel stuff with my hands. 

post #5 of 20

I think only times gloves should be used is in deli(sliceing meat) or when handling raw poultry.

 

GLOVES  ARE A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY   I have seen people  wear gloves chopping and handeling many things.


Edited by ED BUCHANAN - 3/24/14 at 9:13am
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post #6 of 20

Unfortunately,what we "think" is trumped by what the "technocrats" dictate through regulations.

 

 

IF everyone washed their hands correctly and as often as they should, gloves would be unnecessary. Sadly, that is not what we see in practic.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #7 of 20

I used to work with this guy, I can't even remember his name now.  He didn't give a care about the people at the country club because he was dying of liver disease anyway.  One day he was out on the carving station and one of the ladies was getting a little picky about the slice she wanted.  Bear in mind, this is country club, any member can boss you around.

 

Well he smiled at her and with his giant hands reached behind and grabbed a hunk of beef.  Then he started slicing it in the middle and picking it up with his hands all the time asking "what about this?  This OK?  Hmm.. This?" and so on.  It was the funniest thing to watch.

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

Gloves create a false sense of security.


 




This ^^^^^


I'd much rather someone wash there hands rather then wear gloves they don't change.

Too many germaphobes and do good politicians in this world.

Can't save everyone.

Not gloves but we had an electrician who when we required shoe covers to be worn to protect the floors went outside in the mud wearing the shoe covers. Came back in and couldn't understand why we were pissed since he was wearing the shoe covers.

Takes all kinds in this world.
post #9 of 20
False sense of security indeed....i work with some kitchen guys who wear gloves when they eat their lunch..go figure....when they go to the bathroom they come back in with the gloves still on....the gloves are the purplish blue ones so its hard not to notice....
What about bare feet? I currently work with a chef who wears flip flops in the kitchen....on the line, expediting, in the dining room dealing with customers....is this even legal? Even for easy breezy california this seems a bit too casual. Not the same as gloved hands but in my book aside from being unsafe, uncouth,unsanitary and unprofessional it it just downright gross.
One of the bartenders is heavily cologned with aftershave and when i shook his hand upon first meeting him my hand stunk even after washing it off. I kept thinking man, i hope he's not cutting or picking up bar fruit /vegetables...a little Aramis with your twist miss? god forbid he touches any ice...So not cool on several levels just one being spending the extra bucks for organic lemons,limes,oranges, cucumbers, celery, blueberries etc.
i am not one for more and more regulations, but 'a rising tide does lifts all boats'. Or something like that.

joey
Edited by durangojo - 3/28/14 at 10:28am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post
 

Unfortunately,what we "think" is trumped by what the "technocrats" dictate through regulations.

 

 

IF everyone washed their hands correctly and as often as they should, gloves would be unnecessary. Sadly, that is not what we see in practic.

... or as I say too often, What we know (facts and evidence) is trumped by what technocrats think and believe.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

....when they go to the bathroom they come back in with the gloves still on....the gloves are the purplish blue ones so its hard not to notice....
joey

I actually witnessed that when dining once.  Used the men's room and a cook came out of the stall and went straight into the kitchen without washing hands.  I complained and pointed him out to the chef... and was told to get the hell out of his kitchen.  OK, so I barged in without an invitation, but I was polite enough to ask him aside to chat.  As I left I heard the cook deny that it ever happened.  But I saw it and we immediately informed the manager that we were going to abandon our order and leave the restaurant... which we did.

post #12 of 20

As a consumer, I'm in favor of any laws/practices that help enforce public (food) safety. I was happy to see restaurant letter gradings ("A" being the best) posted in restaurant windows for all to see, here in California.  Will the rules be enforced - changing (surgical) gloves to prevent cross contamination, tears, etc. - or if anyone washes their hands?  Who knows what goes on behind restaurant kitchens' closed doors.  Rules & regulations are a good thing when it comes to public safety.  Time & the restaurants' longevity will tell.

post #13 of 20

Looks like it's time to contact your legislators if you don't think this law is a good idea: "state legislators are considering a reversal before inspectors begin slapping fines on eateries this summer."

post #14 of 20
Quote:
 As a consumer, I'm in favor of any laws/practices that help enforce public (food) safety. I was happy to see restaurant letter gradings ("A" being the best) posted in restaurant windows for all to see, here in California.  Will the rules be enforced - changing (surgical) gloves to prevent cross contamination, tears, etc. - or if anyone washes their hands?  Who knows what goes on behind restaurant kitchens' closed doors.  Rules & regulations are a good thing when it comes to public safety.  Time & the restaurants' longevity will tell.

We have that regulation here too. I think it's stupid and would rather see cooks washing their hands often. Here's why...

 

In a super busy kitchen it can be difficult to wash your hands and then put on new gloves, which is what the regulation states should happen. Dry gloves don't go on wet hands very easily and in a busy kitchen you can bet that most cooks aren't taking the time to dry their hands thoroughly before the gloves need to go on. So, you get cooks that try and follow the regulation but get frustrated with so many broken gloves that instead of washing their hands, they just change the gloves without washing their hands. You get 4 or 5 guys sharing the same glove box that have picked up this same habit, then you have a potentially contaminated glove box that everybody is sharing.

 

And you know when it comes to these high volume sandwich joints (where this regulation applies most because of the bread, salads, etc..) this is exactly what's going on. The potential to get a lot of people really sick, which is exactly what the health department is trying not to have happen by making this regulation. Catch 22. 

post #15 of 20

Well perhaps we should also wear surgical masks so our breath doe not contaminate the customers food also, or maybe just ban breathing. From my experience kuan hit the nail on the head with false sense of security and that glove box is already contaminated after it is opened. Training , education and monitoring is the best solution but remember, you cant fix stupid.

The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #16 of 20

There was talk lately amoung Florida officials as to the possibility and feasability of wearing a surgical type mask. What good are the gloves when you can cough, sneeze and breath next to the food for service

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post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post
 

There was talk lately amoung Florida officials as to the possibility and feasability of wearing a surgical type mask. What good are the gloves when you can cough, sneeze and breath next to the food for service

Nuts. Absolutely nuts. I used to do biochemical laboratory work for a couple of years. Even there we only used gloves when dealing with particularly sensitive samples, e.g. RNA preps. Masks, as good as never. If I can prep 50 petri dishes of bacterial cultures contamination free without a mask, why the hell should one be used in the kitchen?

 

Also, when it comes to gloves, I have yet to see a food service worker using them in a way that would be actually useful. If gloves are to be effective, they have to be changed at the slightest hint of contamination - under lab conditions, I often changed them every 2-5 minutes. Touch anything you should not have? New gloves. If you don't do that, you can as well go without. 

 

The basic necessity of hygiene is washing your hands. The rest is window dressing.

post #18 of 20

In my younger days I worked QC in a food lab. I went through my curious phase where I

was trying to contaminate everything through normal use, utensils, my hands,

even breathing on the dam petri dish to see if I could give birth to huge robust colonies

of aerobic creepy crawlies, and then enumerating them "just because they were there".

I found it a challenge to produce anything noteworthy. Masks in a kitchen is paranoia

at worse, lack of knowledge at best--a much better action is to send sick workers HOME

instead of letting them pull rank and work with food while coughing their sitters off

because they want the hours, or just don't feel like laying round at home taking meds

and working on purging their contagion.

 

When I was catering, sinks were a luxury at some events, I always had to hand

squirt on hand sanitizer, and I used it often, right up the arms.

 Gloves for any raw protein, or any plate-straight affair, like salads, breads etc.

post #19 of 20

Very interesting and rather worrying topic.

It isn't just cooks who don't wash their hands after going to the loo. They did a survey of UK restaurants a few years back, lab testing the bowls of mints you often find in reception. In nearly all cases, those mints were contaminated with urine by customers who took a mint while they were paying their bills.

 

They probably also shook the maitre d's hand as they were leaving and so urine would also be on the tip they left for the waiting staff etc etc etc

There is no accounting for, or legislating against people's disgusting habits. 

 

I am not a fan, but I have watched many episodes of Gordon Ramsay in kitchens in Europe and the US. Never mind about gloves and masks, the state of some of those kitchens, cold stores and the ransid stuff he finds in containers makes my hair positively stand on end. I mean those guys can really kill you, and they think they are chefs.

These days, I never take a chance and walk into an eatery I don't know from personal experience or by reputation. I'd rather starve.

 

I cook a lot, and I wash my hands all the time and I change the hand drying towels sometimes twice a day.  I don't think you can really work with a nice cut of meat, or a whole salmon without feeling it, as well as looking at it.

 

In terms of handling raw and cooked food I have all sorts of spoons and slices and things for turning and picking up items, all kept separate and very carefully washed after each use.

Bartenders can prep their lemon and orange etc slices and have toothpicks or tongs, or spoons for putting fruit or ice in glasses. I do hate to see them doing it with their bare hands.

 

In supermarkets I like to see the cold meat servers wearing gloves, and they seem to change them with each new customer in France. True I haven't noticed them washing their hands with each change.

 

Fish mongers tend to wear big old rubber gloves for serving, skinning and filleting. I guess those gloves don't get changed too often.

 

Not sure what the laws are in Europe, but tough regulations or not, as some of you have already pointed out, who is there to look over their shoulders ensuring good personal hygiene?

 

All very worrying.  

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meezenplaz View Post
 

In my younger days I worked QC in a food lab. I went through my curious phase where I

was trying to contaminate everything through normal use, utensils, my hands,

even breathing on the dam petri dish to see if I could give birth to huge robust colonies

of aerobic creepy crawlies, and then enumerating them "just because they were there".

I found it a challenge to produce anything noteworthy. Masks in a kitchen is paranoia

at worse, lack of knowledge at best--a much better action is to send sick workers HOME

instead of letting them pull rank and work with food while coughing their sitters off

because they want the hours, or just don't feel like laying round at home taking meds

and working on purging their contagion.

 

When I was catering, sinks were a luxury at some events, I always had to hand

squirt on hand sanitizer, and I used it often, right up the arms.

 Gloves for any raw protein, or any plate-straight affair, like salads, breads etc.

 

Masks have actually been found to increase the total bacteria count - when worn they are naturally warm, moist and contain loads of self replicating bacteria.  

 

Good thing the human body is good at survival... else we'd have way too many dead cooks and no food!

 

The only time i'm for a mask is when a cook has tested positive for TB... then I think it might be a good precaution.  

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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