Not Everyone Keen On California's New Food Safety Rule

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Last week, we related how a new rule has come into effect in California requiring all food preparers at restaurant establishments to wear gloves as they go about their preparatory procedures.  However, a debate has sprung up about the value of this rule, and the Los Angeles Times explores that debate in a new report.

Many of the concerns shared by various chefs are worth mentioning.  Some worry that their jobs are being unnecessarily complicated.  They explain that, while they often use gloves, they don’t think a blanket rule is appropriate.  One chef pointed out how sushi in particular may be hard to make due to the stickiness of the rice and the gloves’ lack of sensitivity.

Another person interviewed for the story pointed out that gloves can lead to cross-contamination the same way that the bare human hand would.  All someone would have to do is go a long time without washing their gloves or switching them out between preparations.  Another person worried about the environmental impact and the idea that, because they now have to use gloves, some workers might think they didn’t have to wash their hands as often.

The next six months could prove interesting, as restaurants are being given a grace period to adopt the new rules.  For chefs that are really having trouble justifying the use of gloves, they can work with the health department to gain an exemption.