Beards.....

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by dectra, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. dectra

    dectra

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    So, I had a discussion with someone last week about beards. Some folks in the kitchen have them, some (obviously) don't. I don't have a problem with facial hair, per se; but then again, I tend to consider a net over my beard to be just another thing one puts on when working in a kitchen like an apron. Others just roll their eyes at the suggestion. Lots of folks, men and women have hair way longer than my beard, but it seems to be ignored....

    I view a net as not really a "suggestion". The health code here makes it clear that if you have long hair, on your head or on your face, it's to be covered. Here’s the relevant portion of the food code:

    Food employees shall wear clean and effective hair restraints, such as hairnets or beard nets, if appropriate, and clothing that covers body hair. … Hats, caps, scarves or other head covers are acceptable if the hair is contained to prevent contamination. Hair spray and tying back the hair in a ponytail are not effective hair restraints.

    So my question is twofold: would you hire someone with a beard to work on the line, provided they 'netted' it, and is long head hair just 'overlooked' and dismissed?
     
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  2. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    Short answer: yes and no. :)

    Edit: Yes, I would hire someone with a beard as long as they netted it.
    No, long hair not netted would never be overlooked (by me....to heck with the health inspector).

    Nothing can ruin a restaurant's reputation faster than a customer finding a hair in their food.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    In my experience, as long as hair is braided or tucked up, “yea olde health inspector” doesn’t mind. Then again I live on Vancouver where many women of, “ethinicty” have very long hair, and many of these women I’ve worked with braid it and tuck it underneath the colllar and down the backs of their uniforms, so that no hair is dangling. The last 4 health inspectors I’ve dealt with are of the same ethnicity and have their(longish) hair in either tight buns, or tight, well managed styles.

    Beards are a different matter, and I know from personal experience that when beard hair is longer than about 1/4 -3/8” the hairs fall out very easily. Thus, in kitchens that I have managed, beards must either be kept very short, or netted, and I make this clear in the very first interview.
     
  4. chefross

    chefross

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    The food industry magazines and periodicals haven't caught on yet because you never see a beard or hair net on any pictures of cooks or Chefs, yet we all know they are supposed to be.

    I was very adamant about hair restraints, and jewelry.
     
  5. Seoul Food

    Seoul Food

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    To answer your question I would say hiring someone with a beard would have to take into account more such as how its appearance was. If it was well groomed and maintained I wouldn't have a problem but if it looked like a birds nest with food stuck in it than it is probably a good indicator of what that persons sanitation standards are. As far as overlooking long hair, I personally don't think that is appropriate but I do so a lot of long hair overlooked, especially more for women. Not to sound sexist, but from my experience women get away with very loose hair restraints while men with short hair are expected to have full head coverings.
     
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  6. halb

    halb

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    Not to hijack this thread but as long as @Seoul Food brought up women, how about long fingernails that are impossible to clean under? I understand that some places also prohibit nail polish because it can flake or chip off.
     
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  7. patblue

    patblue

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    Would hire someone with a beard, actually, have hired cooks with beards before, but wearing adequate cover is mandatory in my kitchen - no exception or excuses.
    Same goes for the head - even my bold sous chef wears a bandana (skin can flake off...)

    While I understand, that for some ppl (health inspectors / other industry professionals) it is not a "big" deal to have staff in the kitchen with free flowing hair (head or beard) - it is.

    Finding the hair in the soup is the most obvious and towards the customer, that that will impact the reputation of the restaurant the most - but safety should also be a major concern.
    Do you have open flames in the kitchen (I know how that sounds - but visited two kitchens that are 100% induction based as the building codes prohibit any open flames) - but yes, open flames and long free slowing beards/hair have a tendency to interact with each other - and not it any good way

    Respect the workplace...
     
  8. Transglutaminase

    Transglutaminase

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    ..perhaps off topic..
    But, .. one of those Mesopotamian braided/woven beards would be the cat's *ss!
    A new trend? ..forget the latest typical hipster look...
    ...my 2 cents anyway! :)
     
  9. panini

    panini

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    Hair restraints are not for the health inspector. Health Inspectors only try to enforce their municipalities interpretation of
    FDA codes.
    I personally feel it's common sense. If you don't want hair falling into your food, than yes, beard,mustache, hair restraints.
    Decades ago I had to ask (although very uncomfortable) our salad person to shorten the hair on her arms or wear long gloves. We had found some hairs in the salad after she mixed large batches.