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Gloves Off!

April 29, 2014

I started in the restaurant industry while I was in high school bussing tables at a now closed (sadly) pizza place in Atlanta, Georgia.  About a year or so into the job I became a cook.  This was back in the 80’s mind you and there were many things we could do then : some of which are good things to be gone like smoking in the kitchen.  I do remember though that this was when many food service places were beginning to use latex or plastic gloves and I remember telling my coworkers in a rant (big surprise) that i would never….. NEVER work in a place that required gloves.

Well times change as they do, and I have worked in kitchens since that did require them. And I did wear them.  But I don;t like them, and do still stand by my feelings about them when it comes t food service.

Simply put gloves give the customer the illusion of sanitation.  Simple fact.

I have spoken with many chefs and cooks over the years and they all agree.  Gloves are frequently required by state r local health code.  But are they cleaner than using your hands?  More Sanitary?  Not so much.

The use of gloves is an illusion as I said.  I can tell when my hands are dirty and I will wash them instantly but I cannot tell when a glove feels dirty.  See where I’m going here?

Any germs that may be on my bare hands will be killed in the cooking process. Using gloves only makes me think not to wash my hands unless I leave the line.  Another question is how often are the gloves being changed?  For me I would wear them until they haad holes in them and any times I would have a cotton cutting glove on as an insulator for hot pans and never notice the gloves having holes until I looked at my hands.  What I would see is black dirt on the fingers of the cutting glove and wonder how long I had been wearing them like that.

But working with bare hands whether on the line or behind the bar I can feel when they are dirty.  I can feel when They are sticky from sugar or citrus and rightfully so I wash my hands frequently because of this.  Wearing gloves prevents me from doing that as all I feel is latex.

So, just a thought to those who want this kind of regulation for bartenders as they now require in California.  Gloves are an illusion to cleanliness.




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