HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Survey: Do you care if your sushi chefs wear gloves?

I have been to more than a few sushi restaurants. Many of the sushi chefs do not wear gloves, while many do. I personally know that wearing the gloves is not a comfortable experience for them. However, the idea to wear the gloves is to prevent the chefs' hands directly touching the food.

http://www.servingsafefood.com/wp-con...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3450/38...

How will you feel when you walk in a sushi restaurant to only find out the chef is not wearing gloves? What is your feeling about wearing gloves?

1) Favorable (I always prefer gloves because they are cleaner than hands).
2) Neutral (I don't care).
3) Unfavorable (his hands are cleaner than the raw food. Gloves can only hindering his skill to make better sushi).

Thanks for your vote.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. 3--- gloves are no cleaner than bare hands that are kept washed... the wrinkels can harbor bacteria and actually give the wearer an artifical sense of cleanlieness due felling "oh I have gloves on" when actually the gloves should be changed as often as the hands should be washed.

    1. I'd prefer my sushi hand - and not glove - rolled. hands are washed, and I feel they have a better feel for, and control over, the food when the hands are ungloved.

      1. 3) I have yet to see someone wearing gloves making sushi. Sounds pretty weird to me.

        1. Never seen a sushi chef wearing gloves, never want to. Also, what gotw said.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JonParker

            Now, if they are wearing a full HASMAT suit (with oxygen attachment), then I might worry a bit.

            Hunt

            1. re: Bill Hunt

              I've only seen that when preparing fugu.

              Kidding...

          2. Here is a short chip of sushi chefs with gloves on:

            http://youtu.be/IlfYOd5-jBM?t=30s

              1. Gloves? Not so much, but clothes? Definitely YES!

                Hunt

                1. Gloves give a false impression of cleanliness. We are conditioned to wear gloves to protect OUR hands - not what we are touching (think winter gloves, cleaning gloves, surgical gloves). I have seen so many instances (not in sushi establishments) of gloved food service workers taking money, talking on their phones or on break. I highly doubt that those workers, when returning to food prep, toss those gloves, wash their hands and then put on new gloves as they're supposed to.

                  I'll take bare, clean hands, thank you.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Sushiqueen36

                    Yes. It is not neurosurgery, but sushi.

                    Also, I cannot imagine rolling a perfect roll, with those little plastic gloves on. Maybe it can be done, but I would not want to try.

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      I hope my surgeons haven't any problems!

                      1. re: c oliver

                        I highly doubt that they will. If they do, call me, and I will pull some strings to get you into the "best."

                        BTW - the Neurosurgeons, who I know, DO wear gloves, but seldom make sushi in the OR.

                        Hunt

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            That is what they do - work on the "mind."

                            Hunt

                      1. re: Sushiqueen36

                        Exactly! Gloves protect the glove wearers hands and little else. He wipes his nose with his gloved hand and the rolls some sushi, he's fine.
                        No to gloves. Yes to washing hands often.

                        1. re: bobbert

                          So, do you think the gloves are really to protect the sushi chefs? I have often seen people in sandwich shops wear gloves too, but that is another topic.

                          Based on what I read, it is for the foods, and not for the chefs:

                          "HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is a prevention based system to assure food safety. It is used throughout the food industry whether is be on the farm, in a manufacturing plant, or in a retail operation. It is a system that identifies and monitors hazards to food and identifies key processes in the flow of food where these hazards can be controlled"

                          - See more at: http://www.servingsafefood.com/consul...

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            The gloves are supposed to be there to protect the food but I think bobbert was agreeing with my point that our brains are conditioned to think that gloves are there to protect our hands. When you get something disgusting on your hands, your instinct is to wash them... because you can FEEL it there. When it gets on a glove, you may not realize it (or care since your hands are clean under the gloves) - how many times have you seen the people in sandwich shops wash their gloved hands?

                            We know WHY the "food police" think that gloves protect food but in practice, it's a flawed idea.

                      2. No gloves. I have never seen an itamae wearing gloves, but if I did, I would go somewhere else.

                        1. 3. Hands are fine if they're kept washed and clean.

                          1. 3 Unless the chef is a typhoid carrier, no big deal.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                              Check to make sure that his/her first name is not Mary.

                              Hunt

                            2. Doesn't matter to me. Sushi is meant for instant consumption...no time for bugs to proliferate.

                              1. 3. For your typical teenage nose-picker, yes. But sushi masters are clean or they are nothing.

                                1. Holy crap. This is a very one-sided survey. I didn't expect this....

                                  1. 3. Never seen them used.

                                      1. 3
                                        Cranking out good sushi requires dexterity. I've never met a latex glove that improved my dexterity, and I'll assume most sushi chefs haven't either.

                                        1. What was the world like before all of this glove craziness? If a chef washes his hands it's enough for me.
                                          My 90 year old godfather often says: "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"
                                          You should see his refrigerator!!

                                            1. 3 as well, even when used to work in food, looked and seemed so cheesy, especialy sushi.
                                              They always seem to wash their hands often.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                Let's get real. By the time you put the food, any food, in your mouth, in any restaurant it's been handled by dozens of people. Your server just left home after her big dog licked her hands and face after licking another dogs bum. Did she wash her hands before she put your rolls in the basket? Maybe. Maybe not.

                                              2. Thanks for your inputs. I knew the results will lean toward "3", but didn't expect it to be so overwhelming:

                                                ahuva 3
                                                alliegator 3
                                                Bill Hunt 3
                                                bobbert 3
                                                Delucacheesemonger 3
                                                girloftheworld 3
                                                INDIANRIVERFL 3
                                                JonParker 3
                                                jrvedivici 2,3
                                                klyeoh 3
                                                Motosport 3
                                                mwhitmore 3
                                                pinehurst 3
                                                Puffin3 ?
                                                ricepad 3
                                                sal_acid 2
                                                Sushiqueen36 3
                                                tcamp 3
                                                treb 3
                                                Tripeler 3
                                                Veggo 3

                                                 
                                                1. Latex gloves are for Subway employees, safecrackers, and proctologists.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    Actually, here in Oregon we have to use non-latex for food service.

                                                    But I get your point. :-)

                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      and if the right shade of black...certain industry workers my parents pray I never become

                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        Proctologists should wear gloves!!! I mean, who knew? I think that it's time that I had a heart-to-heart with one of my Drs.

                                                        Hunt

                                                        1. I have never seen a sushi chef in Japan wearing gloves. I've never seen a sales person use gloves to touch a baguette in Paris.

                                                          1. Actually find these results gratifying, would have assumed many would be in the 1 area, am happy hounds seem to edge towards the 3 area.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                              As Sam pointed out, some of us live in a "magic house."

                                                            2. Final results. Vast majority of people (93%) prefer the sushi chefs use their bare hand, and the rest (7%) of the people do not have strong preference.

                                                              ahuva 3
                                                              alliegator 3
                                                              Bill Hunt 3
                                                              bobbert 3
                                                              Delucacheesemonger 3
                                                              girloftheworld 3
                                                              INDIANRIVERFL 3
                                                              JonParker 3
                                                              jrvedivici 2,3
                                                              klyeoh 3
                                                              Motosport 3
                                                              mwhitmore 3
                                                              petek 3
                                                              pinehurst 3
                                                              Puffin3 ?
                                                              ricepad 3
                                                              sal_acid 2
                                                              Sushiqueen36 3
                                                              tcamp 3
                                                              treb 3
                                                              Tripeler 3
                                                              Veggo 3
                                                              Veggo 3

                                                               
                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                Hey, how come Veggo gets two votes? Was it the proctologist thing?

                                                                Hunt

                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                  Thanks. Fixed it now:

                                                                  ahuva 3
                                                                  alliegator 3
                                                                  Bill Hunt 3
                                                                  bobbert 3
                                                                  Delucacheesemonger 3
                                                                  girloftheworld 3
                                                                  INDIANRIVERFL 3
                                                                  JonParker 3
                                                                  jrvedivici 2,3
                                                                  klyeoh 3
                                                                  Motosport 3
                                                                  mwhitmore 3
                                                                  petek 3
                                                                  pinehurst 3
                                                                  Puffin3 ?
                                                                  ricepad 3
                                                                  sal_acid 2
                                                                  Sushiqueen36 3
                                                                  tcamp 3
                                                                  treb 3
                                                                  Tripeler 3
                                                                  Veggo 3

                                                                   
                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                    Now, I did not mean to rob Veggo of any points - not sure what he could use those for, but maybe a set of Henkles knives and block?

                                                                    Sorry Veggo - you get an extra Cuban, and maybe even an extra glass of Port.

                                                                    BTW, we are shutting down the property for a few months, while we do a major renovation, and I will be adding about 300 extra btls. in two Miele coolers, and in one, I hope to move up a few bottles of VP, for more ready access vs the official cellar. You get to pick, when we do our "Cellar-bration" event, with the new kitchen. I will make sure that there ARE extra Cubans, just for you.

                                                                    Hunt

                                                              2. I've never seen a sushi chef wearing gloves and if I did I would probably leave immediately.

                                                                1. I like hands-on. Count me a 3.

                                                                  1. In my experience (nearly 15 years of restaurant management and/or ownership) people wash their hands way more often than they change gloves.

                                                                    With bare hands I can feel the grime and wash often. With glove a person can't feel and think they are clean...they have gloves on after all...

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: JayL

                                                                      Interesting point. I realize I've developed the habit of washing my hands extremely often in the kitchen, pretty much everytime I move from thing to another with any kind of hand residue. My sister visited last Summer--she's a physician herself, and she noticed how often I washed my hands before I noticed it.

                                                                      One of the things that brings this out most is working with whole chicken: there I bet I wash my hands 4-6 times just getting the chicken in the form and seasoning situation I want prior to cooking. Tongs help, but still....

                                                                      Likewise, it amazes me how cavalier some people are about chicken or other well known (cross-)contamination ingredients, and those people always seem just fine.

                                                                    2. 3. Never seen a sushi chef wearing gloves. Just about every sushi chef I have observed washes their hands after making each order. As a matter of fact I get kind of grossed out with how filthy the gloves I've seen people wearing in some places. I agree with the others who say that hands get washed more often than gloves changed. Also, the vinegar in the sushi rice is an antiseptic. Sushi chefs hands are way softer, cleaner, and more healthy than the general public, and I've read research that they very rarely if ever get nail infections.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: JMF

                                                                        Another reason why a sushi chef will not touch a cash tip - it's filthy.

                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                          At THAT point, I would expect the gloves to come out, but not before.

                                                                          Hunt

                                                                      2. Another point: Sushi and sashimi are uncooked, right? Except that, in many cases, the temperature of the fish is changed by contact with the sushi master's hand. Deliberately. Gloves would interfere with this.

                                                                        1. I don't think I've ever seen a sushi guy wear gloves. There would be no point to it because they don't handle anything except the food.

                                                                          I go to a coffee shop where employees prepare food and operate the till. They have disposable gloves for food prep but are clueless about the protocol.

                                                                          Nurses, on the other hand, are rigorous about adhering to glove protocol. That's because it is for their own protection.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                            Actually, I must say that I have seen more sushi chefs here wear gloves than not. I know. It is weird. I am starting to see more and more. I don't know if it is a New Jersey thing.

                                                                          2. Where do they not wear gloves? cause I'd like to go there

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: mmmjv

                                                                              they dont wear them at Uchiko/Uchi in Austin

                                                                              1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                Thanks, I should have been more precise though and specified in the Boston area. I'm in Cambridge. I googled it later and it seems we have some law here that you have to wear gloves even if it's sushi :( But there's a way you can get around there by filling out some form or something so maybe there are some who have done that.

                                                                                I had a really nice dinner at Cafe Sushi in Cambridge. I got the Signature Sampler and when the waiter asks if I wanted sashimi or sushi I said I'd like to leave that up to the chef. I was sitting at the counter and he made it right in front of me and then handed it to me and explained each piece, what kind of fish and what was on them and all. Next time I go I'm going to try the Chef's Sampler.

                                                                            2. 3-late to this party

                                                                              I'd probably walk out if I saw an Itamae wearing gloves- never seen it here in this Sushi Shangri-la known as Vancouver-by-the-Sea..