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5 food products that MUST be handled with gloves...

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I know from servsafe education, professional research, and personal experience that all food products should be received, stored, and handled with great care and consideration for haccp standards, and I insist that my prep cooks and line cooks are educated and follow safe food handling practices. That being said, I have always required my kitchen staff to memorize the 5 food products (beyond ready to eat items) that I consider mandatory for them to wear gloves when handling, regardless of how often they wash their hands or what temp it might be brought up to. Shellfish, tomatoes, rice, pasta, and dairy products. I know from experience that these 5 food products will have a shelf life of half as long if handled with bare hands. I have heard that this is because of a chemical reaction with the pH and natural body chemistry of human skin. Can anyone give me more information about the actual science behind this?
post #2 of 25

The "glove" situation in many restaurants and food service places is so misunderstood.

Utilizing gloves does not mean anything if the rules for their use are not followed.

 

There is a thread or 2 about this in the archives. It has been discussed many times here.

 

Basically, the foods that necessitate using gloves are for ready to eat products only.

This does include raw fruits and vegetables.

 

Using gloves for food that has to be cooked is unnecessary, yet so many times I see workers with gloves on cutting meat or peeling potatoes.

The best is when I see people wearing gloves while doing non-food related things, then going right back to touching the food with those same gloves.

Or wearing gloves with tears in them or using gloves that are clearly stained from their last prepping.

 

Another thing that makes me think "Hmmmmmm" is using the wire mesh gloves with the latex glove over it.

Really sanitary hey?

 

I did a Google search and found nothing about what you describe.

Are your 5 examples before or after cooking?

post #3 of 25

Never heard of anything like this. RTE products yes, it's mandated by most health codes. I use gloves on occasion when handling raw meats merely for convenience of keeping my hands clean.

post #4 of 25

All these products were handled with bare hands before they even got to the loading dock.

 

Besides, you should be using your shellfish within 2-3 days anyway, stored on ice.

post #5 of 25
How do you peel shrimp with latex gloves?
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post #6 of 25

Seems like overkill to me.  I agree with what the others have said above.

post #7 of 25

i never wear gloves really, even for ready to eat food unless im doing it in front of customers. Thats what gloves are for , just eye service for the customer, i dont believe that a piece of latex in a cardboard box is any more sanitary than a freshly washed pair of hands.

post #8 of 25

I agree RTE foods/garnish, for aesthetics in handling food in front of guest, protection from cuts and nicks of hands, and protection from foods to discolor hands like beets and such.  Regular prep before cooking just needs periodic hand washing and sanitary utensils/tools. Also keeping in mind to rinse or use vegetable wash with raw vegetables before they go to the cutting board.  

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post #9 of 25

ServSafe recommends using gloves for ready to eat items.  Freddy do you know how long ServSafe recommends rubbing you hands together under hot water while washing? 

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimyra View Post
 

ServSafe recommends using gloves for ready to eat items.  Freddy do you know how long ServSafe recommends rubbing you hands together under hot water while washing? 

A lot more time then many people are willing to give it.

 

Latex gloves are to the kitchen like the TSA is for our security at airports. It's all smoke and mirrors to make us feel safer.....

post #11 of 25
Most city health codes dont require the use of gloves but do mandate and regulate the proper use of gloves. Rte foods and customer appearance yes other then that glove use is pretty much senseless. I have noticed that when cooks wear gloves they tend not to wash their hands as often just take them off and put them on not a good health practice
Gloves can develop bad practices
post #12 of 25

And anal retentiveness........

post #13 of 25

This is about a Professional kitchen.  As a chef you should ensure that your staff is trained in food safety.  Serving high quality food that is safe for your customers to consume.  I agree that much of the time gloves are not used properly.  Used properly they are another tool in your kitchen.  Would you let your staff open boxes with your chefs knife?  An example of the proper use of gloves at the pantry station:  Salads are ordered - use gloves when dressing and plating the salad five finger tongs work better than regular tongs; a dessert order is next, ditch the gloves put on new gloves plate the dessert; ditch gloves; wipe down station, go to hand sink and wash hands.  When I am the customer and observe unsanitary and unprofessional practices  I think twice before I will return.  Sorry about the run on sentence, I've been reading Faulkner.

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimyra View Post
 

This is about a Professional kitchen.  As a chef you should ensure that your staff is trained in food safety.  Serving high quality food that is safe for your customers to consume.  I agree that much of the time gloves are not used properly.  Used properly they are another tool in your kitchen.  Would you let your staff open boxes with your chefs knife?  An example of the proper use of gloves at the pantry station:  Salads are ordered - use gloves when dressing and plating the salad five finger tongs work better than regular tongs; a dessert order is next, ditch the gloves put on new gloves plate the dessert; ditch gloves; wipe down station, go to hand sink and wash hands.  When I am the customer and observe unsanitary and unprofessional practices  I think twice before I will return.  Sorry about the run on sentence, I've been reading Faulkner.

Ready to eat foods should not be touched with bare hands.

In the real world perhaps.

If using a salad tongs, gloves are not needed no?

If using a pie server to plate a dessert gloves are not needed no?

 

A good hand washing program negates the need for gloves.

 

In the real world, does the pantry cook have gloves on when: touching the surfaces of non-food items such as the box the dessert came in or to open the cooler door to retrieve the salad?

 

Step #1 wash hands

Step #2 put on gloves

Step #3 go to work station and organize your stuff

Step #4 remove gloves now because they are contaminated

Step #5 wash hands

Step #6 put on a new set of gloves

Step #7 go to cooler and get bag of salad

Step #8 remove gloves because they are now contaminated

Step #9 plate salad with tongs never touching the actual food with gloved hands.

Step# 10 remove gloves and put on another set to plate and finalize dessert

...and so on..

 

See how ridiculous this is?

post #15 of 25
In my world we follow servsafe practices. Our desserts don't come in a box nor do our salads come in a bag. Happy New year and be happy.
post #16 of 25

I'm sorry, but I think we've become too glove obsessed in this business.  I agree with Chefross, a good hand washing program negates the need for gloves.  This glove thing has only been an issue the last 10 years or so.  Before that we did not use gloves, in professional kitchens, all that much and we were not causing food borne illness outbreaks.  It still bugs me to eat in finer dining restaurants and see all the cooks and chefs gloved up all the time.  About the only time we wore gloves were if we had cuts or open sores on our hands, or we were working with seriously hot peppers.  And it wasn't until after 2005 that I ran into my first health department that required gloves for RTE foods.

post #17 of 25

The part that baffles me is...how do you get the gloves out of the box and on your hands without touching them? Perhaps I should put on gloves first, then get my pair of sano gloves out of the box, but wait... isn't that back to square one?

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post #18 of 25


Sorry to disobey the rules as I'm not a Pro but I want to weigh in from the consumer standpoint.

 

Gloves have there purpose.

 

Mainly to keep your hand free of yukkies and easier to clean when need be.

 

I personally can't stand to see uneducated folks use gloves thinking they are doing the right thing.

 

A glove is as easily contaminated if not more so as a hand is.

 

Unless the glove is changed when a hand washing is warranted then it isn't worth squat.

 

I'd much rather see my food handled by washed human hands then gloved hands that have been over many different surfaces with the user believing they are doing the right thing because there boss doesn't know any better.

 

It really is a shame that so many want to believe in a panacea. 

 

Gloves are not the answer.

 

Knowledge is.

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you to all of the chef's out there that weighed in on this gloves thread. There are many schools of thought and many different standards and regulations across kitchens and states, but I have to agree with Zagut that there is no substitute for a well informed, trained, and monitored staff when it comes to safely handling product. I have witnessed cooks wearing the same pair of gloves while handling rte, raw, prepared, refires, and chemical products. Of course I addressed the issue as soon as I became aware of it, but how much cross contamination had already occurred? And some cooks will argue that "I was wearing gloves"! I have been in the food preparation and service industry since I was a child in my grandmother's restaurant and she taught me that you must wash your hands all day and throughout the day, and especially before and after handling different products, used cooking/table ware, boxes or packaging materials, touching your face/body/clothing, and just an overall awareness of your contact with the environment around you. I personally prefer the tactile connection and refined sense of touch that I can only achieve sans gloves for certain projects in the kitchen. I am a firm believer that the best operational and functional tools in the kitchen are a chef's hands. I inspect the fingernails of any prospective new cook when I shake their hand at the start of an interview. I look for a knife callous, I assess their personal grooming and professional appearance, a few burn scars or tell tale kitchen wounds are OK but too many lets me know that they may be sloppy and a potential danger to themselves or others. For the candidates who are invited to tour the kitchen after interview, I begin with the hand wash sink. If they immediately scrub up, their chances of getting hired are tremendously better. Long story short, wash your hands as often as possible and as often as necessary. Wearing gloves alone will not prevent unsanitary practices.
post #20 of 25
All it took was one time of me being watched and reprimanded by my old kitchen boss when I washed my hands, and I never have improperly washed my hands again. He corrected me to turn off the sink with the paper towel after drying your hands, not with your bare hands. Although he was a complete jerk about it....more than 8 years later I still haven't forgot.

But, I see a plenty of cooks who think they're following proper sanitation guidelines, and then they'll do obvious things like washing lettuce in a sink they didn't sanitize , or drying dishes with a towel for an extended period of time(even though you're never to dry with a towel), or cleaning dirty surfaces with cold, dirty sanitation water from the morning, or even providing towels for cooks, prep and dish staff that are permanently dirty.
post #21 of 25

in my opinion, gloves are to protect your hands of getting dirty, best practice is to have trimmed nails, wash your hands well and then soak them in a chlorinated solution before start to handle food,

either quimical reaction or not, food should be always have a quick turnover, no more then 3 days in your kitchen, nothing get spoild.

==

post #22 of 25

waste of money, Good and frequent hand washing, deep your hands in a chlorinated solution to kill bacteria and viruses,.

post #23 of 25
Shellfish, tomatoes, rice, pasta, and dairy products

wat, wat, wat, wat, and wat?


None of those items lose any shelf life if handled with clean bare hands vs gloves. Maybe dairy, if we're talking wet and your pouring it over your dirty hands. Otherwise, No.

My prep guys scrub oysters daily. Wearing gloves for this task would be ridiculous. They would be shredded in seconds. The oysters still last 1-3 weeks in proper storage depending on variety and condition on arrival. So if you've got oysters lasting 6 weeks, tell me who your supplier is, please.

Tomatoes. You realize that these are picked by people not wearing gloves. Sorted by people who often aren't wearing gloves. Packed by same, etc etc etc... right?


Rice/Pasta. Cooked or uncooked. If uncooked, that's ludicrous. If cooked... who the hell handles either with their bare hands or even gloved hands for that matter?

Dairy. I really can't see where you're handling dairy with bare/gloved hands except cheese going on cheese boards, and line butter. And if you're putting on a glove to grab your line butter as opposed to just using a utensil (tongs perhaps)... then the length of time your butter lasts is less of a concern than the fact that you're running 2 hr check times since you're so ungodly weeded from changing gloves three times for every check.



"Another thing that makes me think "Hmmmmmm" is using the wire mesh gloves with the latex glove over it.

Really sanitary hey?"

I was chef at a place where latex/kevlar/latex was required policy for anyone using the slicer. I had the joy of being required to explain to the kids we hired that this was necessary. Nothing like explaining something completely ridiculous and also almost impossible to maintain (Outer latex would rip in a matter of seconds the majority of the time, requiring constant replacement... most guys would just leave the outer, ripped glove on, soaking the kevlar in blood and other refuse) policy on a daily basis. This place also put the same requirement on any knife-use after some kid cut himself one time. I got the joy of insisting chefs with 40 years experience... 20+ at this location bind their offhand and essentially do all knife work with one hand since you couldn't really move in this setup... because one desk-jockey had a glove fetish. None of these guys could even remember the last time they had cut themselves. Meanwhile people were slicing their hands open on frayed equipment like Chinois almost daily, because my boss wouldn't approve ordering replacements since it wasn't a big enough problem.
Edited by Isabout - 10/2/16 at 12:07pm
post #24 of 25
My gosh Isabout, that sounds almost like a carbon
copy of a place I worked. The stupid gauntlet, neglecting
the equipment maintenance, just about all of it.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have witnessed so many different practices when it comes to handling product in restaurants, and I know that every restaurant is unique and comes with its own historically accepted operational standards. I have also been witness to or involved with many health department inspections at several restaurants, and I know that although the regulations are meant to set standards for minimizing the risks of food born illness/cross contamination, some of the regulations are over compensating hoops to jump through because of cover your ass paranoia on the part of the local health department, and are simply impractical and a pain in my ass when it comes to meeting the demands of a busy restaurant and being ready for service everyday. That is not to say that I don't monitor and train my staff on safe food handling practices, but on my last inspection everything met the approval of the health department except that I did not have plastic wrapped plates on top of the stack of plates above the line. Instead of receiving 100%, I got a 97 because of a minor violation that I had never been cited for before in my current kitchen or anywhere else. I have also been witness to some flagrant violations in previous restaurants when I was working as a line cook, with product sitting out for HOURS after delivery because we were so busy trying to keep up with lunch service and prepare for dinner that no one stopped to store it properly. I knew it was wrong, but the chef and owner did not seem to be concerned about it and I was instructed to just keep putting the tickets out. I have also worked at restaurants that did not provide the kitchen staff with adequate or properly maintained equipment. I fully believe that with an experienced chef,a well trained/educated staff, and cooperation/support from the owner/management, any restaurant should be able to create, prepare, and serve great food for their guests, and has an obligation and assumed responsibility to ensure that the products served to their guests are received, stored, handled, processed, and presented safely. I consider it a blessing to serve my guests, and deeply respect the trust they have placed in me. It is an honor and privilege to nurture the body, mind, and spirit of anyone that sits at my table, and a truly humbling experience to work with everyone who helps me, from the line cooks and dishwashers to the servers and hostesses to the farmers and fishermen. We are all an individually big part of the collectively small world, children of God, sons and daughters of mother nature, brothers and sisters to one another, and we all gotta eat! I am always reminding my guys that whether it is a fruit, vegetable, grain, egg, honey, or protein, it was once a living thing, and in a sense of reverence that living thing sacrificed it's life to provide life for the rest of the world. I hold that belief very highly when I consider how I will perform my duties as a Chef and how I will influence the culinarians and staff working with me. Knowledge is one of the most integral parts of safely handling and preparing food, but love, respect, and passion for service before self are absolutely necessary for me to be happy in my chosen profession.
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