5 food products that MUST be handled with gloves...

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by mclain, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. mclain

    mclain

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I know from servsafe education, professional research, and personal experience that all food products should be received, stored, and handled with great care and consideration for haccp standards, and I insist that my prep cooks and line cooks are educated and follow safe food handling practices. That being said, I have always required my kitchen staff to memorize the 5 food products (beyond ready to eat items) that I consider mandatory for them to wear gloves when handling, regardless of how often they wash their hands or what temp it might be brought up to. Shellfish, tomatoes, rice, pasta, and dairy products. I know from experience that these 5 food products will have a shelf life of half as long if handled with bare hands. I have heard that this is because of a chemical reaction with the pH and natural body chemistry of human skin. Can anyone give me more information about the actual science behind this?
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,783
    Likes Received:
    418
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    The "glove" situation in many restaurants and food service places is so misunderstood.

    Utilizing gloves does not mean anything if the rules for their use are not followed.

    There is a thread or 2 about this in the archives. It has been discussed many times here.

    Basically, the foods that necessitate using gloves are for ready to eat products only.

    This does include raw fruits and vegetables.

    Using gloves for food that has to be cooked is unnecessary, yet so many times I see workers with gloves on cutting meat or peeling potatoes.

    The best is when I see people wearing gloves while doing non-food related things, then going right back to touching the food with those same gloves.

    Or wearing gloves with tears in them or using gloves that are clearly stained from their last prepping.

    Another thing that makes me think "Hmmmmmm" is using the wire mesh gloves with the latex glove over it.

    Really sanitary hey?

    I did a Google search and found nothing about what you describe.

    Are your 5 examples before or after cooking?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  3. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    516
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Never heard of anything like this. RTE products yes, it's mandated by most health codes. I use gloves on occasion when handling raw meats merely for convenience of keeping my hands clean.
     
    harrisonh, planethoff and moisesso like this.
  4. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,822
    Likes Received:
    390
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    All these products were handled with bare hands before they even got to the loading dock.

    Besides, you should be using your shellfish within 2-3 days anyway, stored on ice.
     
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    5,056
    Likes Received:
    601
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    How do you peel shrimp with latex gloves?
     
    layjo likes this.
  6. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,399
    Likes Received:
    935
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Seems like overkill to me.  I agree with what the others have said above.
     
  7. freddy12712

    freddy12712

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    i never wear gloves really, even for ready to eat food unless im doing it in front of customers. Thats what gloves are for , just eye service for the customer, i dont believe that a piece of latex in a cardboard box is any more sanitary than a freshly washed pair of hands.
     
  8. layjo

    layjo

    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    I agree RTE foods/garnish, for aesthetics in handling food in front of guest, protection from cuts and nicks of hands, and protection from foods to discolor hands like beets and such.  Regular prep before cooking just needs periodic hand washing and sanitary utensils/tools. Also keeping in mind to rinse or use vegetable wash with raw vegetables before they go to the cutting board.  
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
  9. jimyra

    jimyra

    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    203
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    ServSafe recommends using gloves for ready to eat items.  Freddy do you know how long ServSafe recommends rubbing you hands together under hot water while washing? 
     
  10. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,783
    Likes Received:
    418
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    A lot more time then many people are willing to give it.

    Latex gloves are to the kitchen like the TSA is for our security at airports. It's all smoke and mirrors to make us feel safer.....
     
  11. jimmy lauria26

    jimmy lauria26

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Most city health codes dont require the use of gloves but do mandate and regulate the proper use of gloves. Rte foods and customer appearance yes other then that glove use is pretty much senseless. I have noticed that when cooks wear gloves they tend not to wash their hands as often just take them off and put them on not a good health practice
    Gloves can develop bad practices
     
  12. frankie007

    frankie007

    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    28
    Exp:
    professional chef over 20 years
    And anal retentiveness........
     
  13. jimyra

    jimyra

    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    203
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    This is about a Professional kitchen.  As a chef you should ensure that your staff is trained in food safety.  Serving high quality food that is safe for your customers to consume.  I agree that much of the time gloves are not used properly.  Used properly they are another tool in your kitchen.  Would you let your staff open boxes with your chefs knife?  An example of the proper use of gloves at the pantry station:  Salads are ordered - use gloves when dressing and plating the salad five finger tongs work better than regular tongs; a dessert order is next, ditch the gloves put on new gloves plate the dessert; ditch gloves; wipe down station, go to hand sink and wash hands.  When I am the customer and observe unsanitary and unprofessional practices  I think twice before I will return.  Sorry about the run on sentence, I've been reading Faulkner.
     
  14. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,783
    Likes Received:
    418
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Ready to eat foods should not be touched with bare hands.

    In the real world perhaps.

    If using a salad tongs, gloves are not needed no?

    If using a pie server to plate a dessert gloves are not needed no?

    A good hand washing program negates the need for gloves.

    In the real world, does the pantry cook have gloves on when: touching the surfaces of non-food items such as the box the dessert came in or to open the cooler door to retrieve the salad?

    Step #1 wash hands

    Step #2 put on gloves

    Step #3 go to work station and organize your stuff

    Step #4 remove gloves now because they are contaminated

    Step #5 wash hands

    Step #6 put on a new set of gloves

    Step #7 go to cooler and get bag of salad

    Step #8 remove gloves because they are now contaminated

    Step #9 plate salad with tongs never touching the actual food with gloved hands.

    Step# 10 remove gloves and put on another set to plate and finalize dessert

    ...and so on..

    See how ridiculous this is?
     
    moisesso and pete like this.
  15. jimyra

    jimyra

    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    203
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    In my world we follow servsafe practices. Our desserts don't come in a box nor do our salads come in a bag. Happy New year and be happy.
     
  16. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,399
    Likes Received:
    935
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I'm sorry, but I think we've become too glove obsessed in this business.  I agree with Chefross, a good hand washing program negates the need for gloves.  This glove thing has only been an issue the last 10 years or so.  Before that we did not use gloves, in professional kitchens, all that much and we were not causing food borne illness outbreaks.  It still bugs me to eat in finer dining restaurants and see all the cooks and chefs gloved up all the time.  About the only time we wore gloves were if we had cuts or open sores on our hands, or we were working with seriously hot peppers.  And it wasn't until after 2005 that I ran into my first health department that required gloves for RTE foods.
     
  17. cheflayne

    cheflayne

    Messages:
    4,195
    Likes Received:
    554
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    The part that baffles me is...how do you get the gloves out of the box and on your hands without touching them? Perhaps I should put on gloves first, then get my pair of sano gloves out of the box, but wait... isn't that back to square one?
     
  18. zagut

    zagut

    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Other
    Sorry to disobey the rules as I'm not a Pro but I want to weigh in from the consumer standpoint.

    Gloves have there purpose.

    Mainly to keep your hand free of yukkies and easier to clean when need be.

    I personally can't stand to see uneducated folks use gloves thinking they are doing the right thing.

    A glove is as easily contaminated if not more so as a hand is.

    Unless the glove is changed when a hand washing is warranted then it isn't worth squat.

    I'd much rather see my food handled by washed human hands then gloved hands that have been over many different surfaces with the user believing they are doing the right thing because there boss doesn't know any better.

    It really is a shame that so many want to believe in a panacea. 

    Gloves are not the answer.

    Knowledge is.
     
  19. mclain

    mclain

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Thank you to all of the chef's out there that weighed in on this gloves thread. There are many schools of thought and many different standards and regulations across kitchens and states, but I have to agree with Zagut that there is no substitute for a well informed, trained, and monitored staff when it comes to safely handling product. I have witnessed cooks wearing the same pair of gloves while handling rte, raw, prepared, refires, and chemical products. Of course I addressed the issue as soon as I became aware of it, but how much cross contamination had already occurred? And some cooks will argue that "I was wearing gloves"! I have been in the food preparation and service industry since I was a child in my grandmother's restaurant and she taught me that you must wash your hands all day and throughout the day, and especially before and after handling different products, used cooking/table ware, boxes or packaging materials, touching your face/body/clothing, and just an overall awareness of your contact with the environment around you. I personally prefer the tactile connection and refined sense of touch that I can only achieve sans gloves for certain projects in the kitchen. I am a firm believer that the best operational and functional tools in the kitchen are a chef's hands. I inspect the fingernails of any prospective new cook when I shake their hand at the start of an interview. I look for a knife callous, I assess their personal grooming and professional appearance, a few burn scars or tell tale kitchen wounds are OK but too many lets me know that they may be sloppy and a potential danger to themselves or others. For the candidates who are invited to tour the kitchen after interview, I begin with the hand wash sink. If they immediately scrub up, their chances of getting hired are tremendously better. Long story short, wash your hands as often as possible and as often as necessary. Wearing gloves alone will not prevent unsanitary practices.
     
  20. rndmchef

    rndmchef

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    All it took was one time of me being watched and reprimanded by my old kitchen boss when I washed my hands, and I never have improperly washed my hands again. He corrected me to turn off the sink with the paper towel after drying your hands, not with your bare hands. Although he was a complete jerk about it....more than 8 years later I still haven't forgot.

    But, I see a plenty of cooks who think they're following proper sanitation guidelines, and then they'll do obvious things like washing lettuce in a sink they didn't sanitize , or drying dishes with a towel for an extended period of time(even though you're never to dry with a towel), or cleaning dirty surfaces with cold, dirty sanitation water from the morning, or even providing towels for cooks, prep and dish staff that are permanently dirty.