Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Aug 10, 2012 05:55 AM

Guy Fieri and gloves

I can't believe the lack of sense this man has towards his patrons-
does this mean no washing cutting boards after chicken, etc.?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Not sure where you're going with this, but the times I've seen him touch ingredients is as they go into the dish for cooking. There are times he'll try to sneak a taste, but from what I remember he uses a fork or some type of utensil.

    Wearing gloves during the food prep stage is rather new. However, I remember people serving food always wore gloves, even the school lunch ladies wore gloves back in the 70's.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dave_c

      "I remember people serving food always wore gloves, even the school lunch ladies wore gloves back in the 70's."

      This does not comport with my memory of the 70s when I was in high school. Glove wearing by food service workers seems to me a relatively recent trend.

      1. re: FrankJBN

        I went to school in San Francisco. I remember the lunch ladies wore what I would describe as plastic bags with fingers.

        1. re: dave_c

          I had a customer who called those cheap gloves "froggie gloves", she was a kiddie daycare center so that's what they looked like to her!

      1. re: jpr54_1

        Thanks for the link.
        I actually agree with Guy. Wearing gloves does not prevent cross-contamination. Also, wearing gloves can give a false sense of security.

        I've seen cooks at restaurants that are very good about changing gloves every time they touch raw meat or raw eggs. I've also been to restaurants that keep the the same pair on after making change or after touching raw meat. It's kind of a crap shoot.

        1. re: dave_c

          I've also seen more than one cook with gloves on scratch their nose and then go right back to food prep.

        2. I agree with Guy on this one. People are more likely to wash a hand when accidentally contaminating it than to go change a glove. People forget when they're wearing gloves. I've seen gloved hands assemble a sandwich, move a garbage can closer for access (by pinching the lip), and go back to making sandwiches. I think those that wear gloves are often trying to protect their hands not protect the food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: seamunky

            I think 50/50 on your last statement.

            1. re: seamunky

              And gloves are a pain. If you've been wearing gloves for more than a minute, your hands get super sweaty, and you have to wash and COMPLETELY dry them before you can put new gloves on - especially powder-free gloves will not go on even slightly damp hands. Takes too long, not worth it, and all those gloves just end up in the landfill.

            2. Not a fan of the guy, but I also have to agree. First of all, it is easier to wash hands than change gloves and I also think if their own skin is not being contaminated people are less likely to give thought to cross-contamination.

              1. I think it is important to try-
                if it is good enough for medical professionals---why not food professionals
                btw I have a Masters in Public Heallth
                It says alot about his attidude to his customers

                17 Replies
                1. re: jpr54_1

                  Why are you pointing out one TV show host in particular?

                  1. re: tommy

                    I was sort of wondering the same thing. I watch several cooking shows, including one favorite - Michael Colamecco, who goes into many active NYC kitchens -and I honestly don't think I see gloves all that often.

                    1. re: Justpaula

                      I've been in more kitchens that I can remember and the only people wearing gloves are people washing dishes and scrubbing pots. Gloves in a kitchen environment do nothing for safety, and Guy is obviously one of the hundreds of thousands of people who understand that.

                      1. re: jpr54_1

                        You realize that he is far from alone in this regard.

                          1. re: jpr54_1

                            Take a look at this thread LOL!

                    2. re: jpr54_1

                      I don't sounds like he has given it some thought and as a customer, I am okay with a chef who is very conscious about washing his hands vs. one who is wearing gloves because the health department says so, but doesn't bother to change them that often. Contrary to what you feel, I don't think it says anything negative about his attitude towards his customers.

                      1. re: jpr54_1

                        Um, because Medical Professionals have some medical training or even degrees, and food "professionals" are stoned high school kids.

                        Gloves do not protect the food. They protect your hands. How many times have you seen some kid wearing gloves picking their nose? How many times have you seen some kid wearing gloves dropping food on the floor and putting the food back on the tray? (Answer: Lots of times.)

                        Gloves do nothing to improve food safety. Gloves do not cure stupid. Gloves exist only to make bureaucrats feel good about themselves and as a visible symbol to make consumers think bureaucrats are doing something about food safety.

                        1. re: jpr54_1

                          "good enough" for medical professionals? No, it's often an issue of safety in the medical profession. Completely and utterly different from a commercial kitchen.

                          1. re: jpr54_1

                            In a hospital, for example, you are more likely to have especially dangerous or difficult-to-treat bacteria; you have patients with compromised health or immune systems; and you have direct portals into parts of peoples' bodies that are extremely vulnerable to infection (central lines, open wounds, arterial lines, intubated patients, etc).

                            In a restaurant, the risks simply aren't the same. You need a larger dose of most bacteria (or their assorted toxins) to actually become sick from exposure, and more often than not, that implies poor food handling practices AFTER cross contamination (which, frankly, cannot be stopped - it can only be limited). And beyond that, I am not convinced that exposure to non-infecting doses of common bacteria is actually bad for the average person. This is admittedly debatable, but there is some evidence that regular low level exposure might make for a more robust immune system, fewer allergies, and fewer autoimmune illnesses.

                            It's not that gloves are a bad thing. It's just that they can be a kind of distraction from the efforts that make a bigger difference, and worse they can provide a kind of false sense of security in a job setting where - face it - not everyone gets especially good training in safety measures in the first place. Ideally, a restaurant worker should assume the food they're working with has been exposed to cross contamination (cause gloves or not, chances are it has), and as such does not leave it unrefrigerated for long periods and washes it shortly before service.

                            ETA: I do think gloves make sense for some specific situations - people assembling food at subway, for instance, where food is sitting out for longer periods of time and the job is limited to some specific duties. They're just not a good catch all for all-around food prep.

                            1. re: jpr54_1

                              When taking classes in culinary/hospitality, we were also told about the false sense of security that wearing a glove brings. Why are clean hands not enough for you? Can you guarantee that the glove is cleaner? I've worked in a kitchen and saw what people did with gloves on.... yuck. I would rather wash my hands repeatedly.

                              1. re: wyogal

                                And I think medical professionals change those gloves a LOT. Plus they are wearing gloves to protect themselves as well

                                1. re: coney with everything

                                  I didn't say anything about medical professionals. I would hope they change gloves a lot.

                                  1. re: wyogal

                                    no but jpr54_1 did, stating that if gloves were good enough for medical professionals, they are good enough for food workers.

                                    I was not disagreeing with you, just adding the observation that medical professionals' reasons for wearing gloves are valid for additional reasons.

                                2. re: wyogal

                                  Some employees (kitchen and health professionals) think the gloves are just to protect them. I've seen them keep them on in the bathroom. Major ick.

                                  1. re: chicgail

                                    yes, and also on their smoke breaks. and the dishwasher would scoop out food in bowls and eat it before putting it in the dishwasher. yes. I saw a gal scooping up a big handful of cake batter................