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Gloves on food preppers now extends to bartenders in CA


I hadn't even thought of the latex issue (which is ironic since I am sensitive to it)...

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  1. I am grateful to the State for addressing this issue. They have already saved me countless thousands of dollars by the foi gras ban (I simply could never help myself, breakfast, lunch, or dinner). I look forward to meeting each legislator who voted for this and shaking hand with him, her, it,( pronoun to be chosen so as to mollify and enhance ones self-image) while said worthy wears a latex glove, replaced between each hand shake. Canapes at the re-election parties ought to be great,

    7 Replies
    1. re: hazelhurst

      Non-powder gloves as well as non-powdered vinyl gloves are cheap and readily available.

      That said...as an operator in the State of California, this new law sucks and most likely will not do what it was intended to do

      1. re: DiningDiva

        No dispute as to availabllity---and certainly not as to being CHEAP---but the law will have consequences for which the enactors should be held strictly liable. Public safety laws allow anything. How we lasted so long as a species without these benefactors is a mystery. Then again, those who made the law must be a mutant form from poor hygiene.

        1. re: hazelhurst

          Darn. There are times I just want a cocktail, and not from someone who looks like they are prepping for my liver transplant.

          1. re: Veggo

            Excellent comment! What with the foie gras business, California does seem to have some sort of hepatic fixation, eh?

          2. re: hazelhurst

            "Public safety laws allow anything"

            Have you read CalCode? Public health law in California does not allow anything.

            There are a lot of operators in the State who are not in compliance and there are stupid people doing stupid things, but the public health laws in CA can be pretty intense.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              I failed to note your comment and you are proper in your remark because I was nott clear. What I intended was to say the anything can be legislated under the guise of Public Health. Anything.

              See also Robert Moses' use of Public Parks--who can argue against fresh air and sunshine for The Children?--to build his empire.

              Just be wary...that's all I say. "Goodness" can be a disguise.

            2. re: hazelhurst

              Safe food handling laws strive not merely to ensure the survival of the species, but to ensure the survival of every individual who dines in a place of public accomodation.

        2. I am from California, and will always love California, but seriously, what the hell is this law?

          I suppose the original idea is to keep the food sanitary for the customers. In practice, it won't help. I don't know who pushed for this? It is not the restaurant group. It is not the average diners or drinks. I am pretty sure it is not even the gloves manufacturer group neither. Who come up with this idea and lobbied the law makers to write this into a bill. In addition, who actually convinced major of them (not a few) to pass this?

          This law does not make much sense. I am a scientist by training and by trade. I wear gloves all the time in lab -- except I wear them to protect MYSELF. We work with one dangerous chemical to another. The gloves are to protect me from the chemicals. They don't stop me from transferring trace level of chemical from one place to another -- just like the bartenders will transfer the dirty money to your food. Sorry, it is the truth.

          You may say: "But what about the surgeons wearing gloves?" Surgeons are very different. Yes, the gloves are to protect the patients exposing to the surgeon's hands. But keep in mind that the surgeons work in very clean operation rooms. Everything else in the rooms has been sanitized, so it makes sense for them to wear gloves. There isn't much of anything to contaminate the surgeons' gloves. Chefs and bartenders do not work in an ultra clean environment. Everything will contaminate their gloves.

          P.S.: If they want to push this law as an attempt to protect the chefs and bartenders, then at least that makes better sense. Protect the consumers? No.

          30 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Your words are balm and calm to this distressed soul. Although not Californian, I've had marvelous times there and share a sense of angst about "what's happenng to where I am from" which in my case is New Orleans, with pit-stops of New York, boston and Connecticut.

            The proper response to this (the Califnornia) calumny is simply to look at the legislative history of the bill. This is easily found in Sacramento. Look up who proposed it, who supported it. And then go after them hammer and tong. Remember: ridicule is insurmountable by idiot legislators. You cannot beat a comedian of any value or ability. (except Seinfeld) Laugh them off the map.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              This has been explained. The purpose of the law was to permit "cottage food" operations. Nobody was thinking about sushi bars or bartenders.

              1. re: GH1618

                I did not see the explanation (of the law?) posted here. "Cottage foods" would of course need to be defined before proceeding. I know enough law not to suggest what anyone intends in use of a word or words. (See Humpty Dumpty)

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  It was in the other thread on the subject. I posted a link to the act.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    I did not see the other thread. My apologies for being obtuse. Please direct me thither--if you can..I dunno how these damn compu things work.

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      I can't find the other thread. Maybe it was deleted. Why would they do that?

                      Oh, here it is:


                      1. re: GH1618

                        Thanks..haven't looked yet but thanks anyway

                        1. re: GH1618

                          Appalling. reminds me of the Caesar salad folly some years ago.

                          Still, I enjoin all Californians to seek the legislative history of this bill and to further seek and destroy the political careers of anyone who attached to this. Self-Coronation delenda est.

                          1. re: hazelhurst


                            What, precisely, is appalling?

                            1. re: GH1618

                              Look it up.

                              The entire folly of the law is appalling. As it often is. I live with it, daily

                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                So you can't say? I posted it. I read it.

                                1. re: GH1618

                                  "enjoin" is not an occult word. Learn.

                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                    This is not a language forum, but "enjoin" means to prohibit, especially by injunction. I was not questioning the meaning, but your usage, which doesn't make sense.

                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      "Enjoin" is to "order." an "injunction" in law prohibits by order.

                              2. re: GH1618

                                Substitute encourage or enhearten or enliven (ok, Google gave me the last 2).

                                1. re: drongo

                                  you may be right but I do not condescend. More fun this way in any event.

                                  I could, of normal thought, have said "I emplore and beseech..." but that is more words than are needed.

                                  Just learn words and we are OK. Your editorial advice is welcome..we have argued about such things in my house for years because my mother edited "scholarly books." when red warren and Brooks and others are hanging around, one has a skewered view of childhood.

                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                    "Enjoin" in that sense is to prescribe "authoritatively," according to my Oxford, the dictionary I recognize as most authoritative. You have no authority to tell Californians what to do, so your usage is still incorrect. But even if we take your meaning to be "beseech," what you seek is preposterous. So it doesn't matter how we interpret "enjoin."

                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      I never presume to tell Californians anything. I might insist, but never presume. "Enjoin" is an earnest plea, a strong suggestion.

                                      I seek nothing...there is no "there 'there'"..

                                      1. re: hazelhurst

                                        R.I.P. my friend William Safire. Always explored language in a friendly style.

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I would like to add that i've seen some horrible contamination of food by people who used gloves to take out the garbage, for instance, and then not think to change gloves, because, hey- their hands are still clean, and they just don't think about what the the gloves just handled. Really. I've seen it happen.
                    In a surgical setting, all occupants are heavily trained in sterile procedure and the use of gloves. Not so much kitchen staff and bartenders.
                    In a surgical setting, as opposed to a lab setting, the intent IS to protect the patient first, and the staff second, since the blossoming of bloodborne diseases, or the discovery of their potential.
                    I'm inclined to say I'll take somebody with clean bare hands over a numbskull with gloves, but that varies from situation to situation, of course.

                    1. re: EWSflash

                      Nothing is perfect. we may make efforts to ensure public safety but we can be unreasonable In our reach. See, e.g., the old German Civil Code that tried to cover EVERY possibility in law....and collapsed, of its own weight, like a certain French cathedral.

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        or the Bent Pyramid of Snefru at Dahshur...

                      2. re: EWSflash

                        I don't know where you are getting your surgery done, but when I spent some time in a hospital recently I noticed that the nurses were meticulous about following the glove protocol. It is for their own protection, generally, although surgery requires protection of the patient as well.

                        1. re: GH1618

                          I've worked in a hospital for over 40 years and logged hundreds and hundreds of hours in ORs, the ER, and patient units.
                          Of course the nurses and other staff are meticulous about glove protocol at hospitals, it's a special population with higher risk, being full of sick and injured people. My point was that they've had a lot of education in aseptic and sterile technique, far more than restaurant workers, and are more likely to consciously identify and change contaminated gloves.

                          1. re: GH1618

                            It is primarily to prevent cross contamination of any type. It is not *for* anyone specifically. Nurses are meticulous because we are *front line* with patients and believe me every hospital has an infection control nurse who is usually armed with so many advanced degrees in microbiology etc. that they run the hospital with an iron fist. Hand washing and proper techniques with all barriers are done with the most utmost of seriousness when doing patient care. Believe me if someone on staff is not following protocol it is a huge problem that will be addressed. EW is telling it like it is. The restaurant staff should be required to watch some training videos and sign an agreement to adhere to protocols.

                          2. re: EWSflash

                            I agree.

                            By the way, I am not saying that wearing gloves are significantly more dirty than bare hands, but certainly not better.

                            Here is an example. Slightly exaggerated, but..

                            If I accidentally spilled acids or bleach or ketchup on my hands, I will instinctively wash them because these spills will irritate me. However, I won't have that "instinct" to wash my gloves or change my gloves because I may not feel anything.

                            I am sure you have the experience of someone hand you a sticky coin, right? You will have the gut instinct to rub your hand or wash your hand. Well, you won't have that instinct if you were wearing gloves.

                            My problem is not that gloves are much more dangerous than bare hands. I certainly won't run out of the door if I see my chefs wearing gloves, but I just think it is unnecessary. In addition, wearing gloves slightly endanger the chefs. I cannot feel my hands very well when I wear my lab gloves. It is slightly dangerous for chefs to wear gloves while using their knives to cut foods. I have seen so many sushi chefs in my area wearing gloves.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                As a scientist (as is Ck), I think of gloves as a way to protect myself rather than to protect others. We're trained (endlessly) to always take our gloves OFF before doing anything that affects others (opening a door, using a keyboard, etc.).

                              2. re: EWSflash

                                I operate 11 food service establishments in the State of CA. We get inspected - like clockwork - by the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health twice a year and have never had an inspect rate lower than 92 out of 100.

                                Several years ago an inspector showed up (yes, unannounced) to do a bi-annual inspection on my largest unit. He noticed that all the employees were wearing gloves and asked why. And we explained that was our policy at that time. We got a lecture on the fact that gloves are often a worse source of cross contamination because employees don't 1) realize gloves get contaminated and 2) they provide a false sense of security. At that time he said their department preferred employees to wash their hands more frequently than wear gloves. He also suggested that since we had more than ad adequate number of hand washing stations that we not be so reliant on gloves.

                                Back in the early 90s, different city, different operation we had 100 people end up with an unfortunate case of staph food borne illness. It was trace back to the meat for a taco salad. The cook swore she was wearing gloves, which she was. She also had a scratch above her eye where her cat had scratched her. It wasn't a big scratch, nor was it particularly swollen or nasty looking. The local health department investigated and concluded that she had touched the scratch at some point, not changed gloves and then used the gloved hand to portion taco meat for taco salads. The meat was cooked and held at the appropriate temperature but the salad was served cold. Had the meat in the taco salad been served hot, the outbreak most likely would never have happened.

                                Without doubt, gloves help but they are no guarantee of food safety.

                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                  The inspector was right — many food handlers did not understand correct glove protocol. That's why the law specifies the protocol in detail.

                            1. Just today I observed a bartender handling mint for a mojito (not for me!) and also handling money. No gloves. So they are not all rushing to comply.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: GH1618

                                A travesty! The law applies equally! It must be enforced universally...and watch what happens then.

                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                  I agree with you in that we all have to get contaminated by money, lest we end up handling money with tongs, and that would be a really silly visual.

                              2. The impetus for the cottage food law did not originate in the California State Legislature but came from a nationwide lobbying group. Several states have passed such a law.


                                5 Replies
                                1. re: GH1618

                                  That is intruiging..and I use the word with care. There is no definition...that I saw..of "cottage foods" although thre was a fairly ordinary 6th grade account of how to push a bit of legislation. Do cottage food require gloves? Is it a requirement of CF's program that there be handicaps on othrs? I don't know...I'm just asking....

                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                    The definition is in the act. The point of the law is that people who seek to make food at home for sale must understand and adhere to sanitary food handling practices.

                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      As you posit things, it makes sense. Easy to say that Ma Frikert adhere to standards. I'd need to see the Act and the definirions. Would a bartender at Dicks's in Mendicno need to wrp his/her hand in plastic prior to application of digit upon foreign fruit ?

                                      I argue for absolute adherence to the law. Let the lawmakers collapse from their own follly. ) They won't)

                                      1. re: hazelhurst

                                        I directed you to a link to the act, which contains the definition, so nothing is preventing you from seeing it.

                                    2. re: hazelhurst

                                      Here's a link to a discussion of Calif's Cottage Food Act on the SF Bay Area board. You can follow the links therein to the legislation to read it yourself to understand the details and its history,if you really want to know.

                                  2. How often do they wash their gloves ? Now their hands have gloves on them. What's the difference.

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: emglow101

                                      The gloves must be disposable, and must be discarded when interrupting food prep to do something else.

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        For bartenders, do they have to discard them after taking money or a credit card from a patron. And place new ones on their hands for the next customer ?

                                        1. re: emglow101

                                          They should discard them after handling food. So, in the case I observed today, the bartender should have put on a new pair of gloves before handling the mint for three mojitos. After that step, he could discard them, because that's the only step that requires touching the food.

                                          1. re: GH1618

                                            I bet the environmentally aware in Berkeley LOVE (sarcasm) the idea of routine multiple disposals of gloves during a service. I too would say just wash your damn hands more often unless you have an open cut or bandage.

                                        2. re: GH1618

                                          Why not just leave the gloves on, and wash them after handling non-food? Replace the gloves if they get torn. Doesn't that make more sense than a constant put on/take off/throw away routine? Easier on the hands than washing them directly would be, too.

                                            1. re: chowyadoin99

                                              No. Use of disposable gloves, when the protocol is followed correctly, is the most reliable means of ensuring sanitation. That's why hospitals have switched to disposable gloves (as well as disposable most everything else).

                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                Nobody's arguing that, it's an issue of training and retention.

                                                1. re: EWSflash

                                                  Washing one's hands properly requires training also, and requires diligence to keep it up to standards. Some hospitals now have electronic aids to help people wash for a sufficient length of time. Training in proper glove protocol should be easier.

                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                    Why are we arguing when we're on the same side?

                                        3. There must, perforce, be considerations of skin-sensitivity.
                                          Gee... I fail so often. I should have anticipated the latex trouble

                                          1. So we (CA cities) are beginning to ban plastic bags but now will see an increase in the disposal of latex gloves.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: globocity

                                              That bothers me, too. There needs to be an available biodegrdable alternative, not latex. I've seen vinyl gloves and nitrile gloves, as much as I prefer nitrile gloves, I have no idea how biodegradable they are. Anybody know that?

                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                Nitrile gloves are recyclable. There is at least one biodegradable nitrile glove. Polyethelene gloves are the least expensive, and they are recyclable.

                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                  They're only recyclable if people are recycling them.

                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                    Sure, but people were recycling those plastic shopping bags before they were banned in my county, and that was by individual consumers. Institutions, at least the larger ones, should be able to recycle a significant number of them. Recycling is far more prevalent than it was two or three decades ago.

                                                    As for the alternative, thorough hand washing requires water. Where I live, the governor has just declared a drought emergency. Everything is a trade-off.

                                            2. seriously ... this is SO not going to work.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Cheflambo

                                                Do you mean that despite the rules, cottage food producers will give their customers food poisonong? If they make a habit of it, they will be shut down. That'll work.

                                              2. First they went after the happily force fed birds, then they decided that all porn stars needed to wear condoms in the movies, and now this??????

                                                1. This law does not make any sense to me, unless the bartender puts on a new glove each time they touch a lemon or lime wedge, etc. They should just make a law that the bartender has to use a clean utensil (tongs) to pick up the fruit or olives, etc.

                                                  I know a guy who thinks wearing latex gloves will protect him from catching a cold.