Cooking during Covid

Status
Not open for further replies.
2
1
Joined Jun 19, 2020
Hello all! First time poster here, have been browsing for years though. I am about to go back to work full time ( have been out of work since march due to corona virus,) and was curious who else is in the same boat. I am curious to know what working a full shift is like during these current times. Do you wear a mask the whole shift? How do you taste food, drink water, Is it difficult to communicate with expo, or better yet other people on the line when moving with hot pans or something sharp? I work at a place with an open kitchen and i feel like customers will be more down our asses more than ever. Sorry if there is already a thread on this...Thanks!
 
3,765
684
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Where I live masks are required in the workplace, and almost everywhere in public. Except when actively eating. Masks are a significant inconvenience and are uncomfortable. And I find myself constantly shouting and asking others to repeat themselves. But we need to get used to it. Personally, wearing one for a prolonged period feels like a waterboarding. Often I feel the need to lift it so my brain regains consciousness... but not when around other people... or in situations where other people could be exposed. Wear a mask for a full day at home and your questions will answer themselves.

Good luck and congratulations on your return to work!
 
719
264
Joined May 25, 2015
Funny, how a few months ago there were public service announcements on TV showing how beat up the faces of healthcare workers were because they had to wear masks all day. Now everybody needs to wear a mask and too bad that it's inconvenient and uncomfortable. First it was to protect yourself and when people didn't worry about themselves it became wearing a mask protects others. So now you get the evil eye if you aren't wearing something over your face.

I'm not very convinced that masks do much anyway especially the "face doilies" a lot of people wear. My observation is that the virus spreads when unrelated people congregate indoors or in an enclosed space or area like a plane, train or bus because they all breathe the same air.

I was going to say that a better solution for kitchen workers would be testing every two weeks along with guidelines about coming to work with a fever or if feeling ill. That's what they do with hair dressers but I'm thinking that's because they come in close contact with their customers. Kitchen staff don't come in contact with the customers so what are they trying to do? Protect them from each other?

After working 10 hours a day for years, kitchen workers do become "related" to each other. They don't ask families in the same house to wear masks. The risk is the same.
 
3,765
684
Joined Dec 18, 2010
It seems that part of the “mask rule” is to protect workers who are in close proximity of other workers. Six feet seems the general definition of “close”. But there also seems a concern about kitchen workers potentially spewing bodily fluid on food and plates that are then served to guests, who, as you correctly stated, are beyond “close proximity” but directly transferring the food to their mucus membranes. There are multiple objectives... as well as a lot of opinion... and a real lack of definitive consensus on the risks and required preventative measures. We are not living in happy or convenient times.
 
719
264
Joined May 25, 2015
Problem is that there is no concrete evidence that any of this is a problem. As I said, workers in close proximity to each other shouldn't be a concern. They are not transient, they are together every day for many hours at a time. The chance for exposure is no more than for a family living together.

Spewing bodily fluid is a bit of an exaggeration. Sneezing maybe? It's never been proven that the virus can be transmitted through food. And it's been discounted that it can live for very long on surfaces and be transmitted to somebody coming in contact with the surface.

Problem is that we get recommendations one day and new recommendations the next that contradict the recommendations from the day before. I don't think any of these people know what they are talking about and just take the most severe action just to be safe. And I really don't think they care how much trouble and anguish they are causing people just trying to make a living- or trying to live.
 
3,765
684
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Well, IDK... I’m not an epidemiologist, doctor, or politician. Are you? I’m just trying to figure the new-now out enough to get by. Yes, ‘spew’ was a creative embellishment. But what seems consistent knowledge is that stuff from infected people’s noses and mouths is a risk to others if it gets into their noses and mouths. How long it lives in air, on hard surfaces, or on soft surfaces is knowledge that is either not-known or evolving. Even if the precautions are excessive, if the public expects them than it would behoove merchants to make reasonable attempts to comply. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would walk out of your restaurant if the cooks were not complying. As much as I respect you and your opinion... I’m really more inclined to give more respect to the opinion of those formally educated in that field.
 
3,765
684
Joined Dec 18, 2010
... and as a postscript... I know there are a lot of people who feel like you that there is little risk and no need for profound precautions. As our state reopens we see a mix of compliant businesses and a bunch of non-compliant. Both are mobbed. EVERYONE is anxious to get back to life and a “regular” lifestyle. I’m tired of being an Agoraphobic hermit... but have a family to protect as well as a desire to live comfortably for a few more years.
 
719
264
Joined May 25, 2015
I DO agree with you but I don't like to see people suffer needlessly. We need to watch this closely because it will be easy to see the results of the precautions (or lack of precautions when people don't follow them.)

A lot of this is politically motivated and politicians don't give a damn about how hard they make it for us.
 
3,765
684
Joined Dec 18, 2010
A lot of people are suffering... it’s an international crisis. So far there has been money thrown at the economic problem... lots of it. But not enough to come close to healing the wounds we now live with. It’s heartbreaking.

There just isn’t enough money to fix things, and much of what needs fixing can’t be fixed by just throwing money at it. And guess where all this money is coming from... some from generous private contributions And much is just a few more trillion dollars added to national debt.

I don’t lump all politicians in the same wrapper. Some clearly care; others clearly care only about themselves. Bottom line, though, is that expecting politicians to fix our problems is like believing in the tooth fairy.

But regarding cooks... it’s very much a business decision. Take the risk of cross-contaminating staff or cross-contaminating staff and customers Versus show of good faith to maintain health of all involved.

Let’s face it... the hurt on the restaurant industry (and people in general) has just started. It’s going to be bad for a long time!

Here in CA since businesses have started reopening, the hospitalization rate for COVID has increased noticeably. That seem to be real valid data... not opinion.
 
Last edited:
3,138
612
Joined May 5, 2010
I must wear a mask, and gloves while at work (grocery store produce aisle). We require everyone who enters to have a mask on. I was in a larger city Walmart the other day and most people were without any face coverings, and not practicing social distancing.
As far as the rise in Covid cases, I believe this stems from better and more testing availability. As more people are being tested now, the case positives are now increasing as well.
 
719
264
Joined May 25, 2015
The people who work at the local Shop Rite I go to always wore gloves for years before all this. Yes, everybody, customers and workers are required to wear a mask as with all stores here. Even still, a guy who lives down the street from me works at the deli counter slicing cold cuts and contracted the virus. No way to tell where he got it but you can't discount where he works most of the day.

More and more I'm seeing people getting disgusted. In the beginning everybody used to be good about masks and gloves and social distancing. Now I see people ripping their masks off the second they walk through the exit. Nobody wears masks outside (I never did ). You see very few people wearing gloves. Only exception seems to be many Hispanics who I see even driving around with masks and gloves. Maybe it's because they can't afford to get sick or if they are illegal they fear deportation.

I was at the grocery store a while ago and they continually make announcements about observing the one-way isle markers, social distancing and lining up in isle 4 for checkout. There was an old lady pushing her cart past me. When the announcement came on she said "Oh, shut the hell up!! I'm sick of this!" I personally thought that the one way isle markers and social distancing markers all over the stores were way over the top and only contributed to peoples anger.

So now that NY has opened up the numbers are at an all time low and continue to drop. The large medical center near me has zero virus patients.

Unfortunately I think people are getting the idea that this was like one of those big snowstorms the weather forecasters scared the hell out of you with, storm of the century! So everybody goes out and buys up all the snow shovels, bread and milk and hunker down. Storm comes and dumps maybe a foot of snow.
 
628
229
Joined Sep 17, 2018
Problem is that there is no concrete evidence that any of this is a problem. As I said, workers in close proximity to each other shouldn't be a concern. They are not transient, they are together every day for many hours at a time. The chance for exposure is no more than for a family living together.

Spewing bodily fluid is a bit of an exaggeration. Sneezing maybe? It's never been proven that the virus can be transmitted through food. And it's been discounted that it can live for very long on surfaces and be transmitted to somebody coming in contact with the surface.

Problem is that we get recommendations one day and new recommendations the next that contradict the recommendations from the day before. I don't think any of these people know what they are talking about and just take the most severe action just to be safe. And I really don't think they care how much trouble and anguish they are causing people just trying to make a living- or trying to live.
Yeah like how the CDC says wear masks and the WHO says you don't have to unless you are directly caring for COVID-19 patients. Who do you believe?

As to the OP, I was under the impression that restaurant businesses open for take out only during this were already having staff wear masks? So I'm not sure how much different that would be.

I do know that as we progress into the summer months, businesses like mine will have to decide if they want to keep pushing masks for their kitchen staff or risk any lawsuits from people passing out and hurting themselves.
 
628
229
Joined Sep 17, 2018
The people who work at the local Shop Rite I go to always wore gloves for years before all this. Yes, everybody, customers and workers are required to wear a mask as with all stores here. Even still, a guy who lives down the street from me works at the deli counter slicing cold cuts and contracted the virus. No way to tell where he got it but you can't discount where he works most of the day.

More and more I'm seeing people getting disgusted. In the beginning everybody used to be good about masks and gloves and social distancing. Now I see people ripping their masks off the second they walk through the exit. Nobody wears masks outside (I never did ). You see very few people wearing gloves. Only exception seems to be many Hispanics who I see even driving around with masks and gloves. Maybe it's because they can't afford to get sick or if they are illegal they fear deportation.

I was at the grocery store a while ago and they continually make announcements about observing the one-way isle markers, social distancing and lining up in isle 4 for checkout. There was an old lady pushing her cart past me. When the announcement came on she said "Oh, shut the hell up!! I'm sick of this!" I personally thought that the one way isle markers and social distancing markers all over the stores were way over the top and only contributed to peoples anger.

So now that NY has opened up the numbers are at an all time low and continue to drop. The large medical center near me has zero virus patients.

Unfortunately I think people are getting the idea that this was like one of those big snowstorms the weather forecasters scared the hell out of you with, storm of the century! So everybody goes out and buys up all the snow shovels, bread and milk and hunker down. Storm comes and dumps maybe a foot of snow.
I see a lot of people without masks now. Some businesses still make people wait outside in queues to come in while places like my grocery store and Walmart are free for alls. I had to laugh at the one way signs too the first time I saw them, like what was I going to do, go oh well I guess I don't get that food this week because I already walked a foot past it?
 
628
229
Joined Sep 17, 2018
A lot of people are suffering... it’s an international crisis. So far there has been money thrown at the economic problem... lots of it. But not enough to come close to healing the wounds we now live with. It’s heartbreaking.

Here in CA since businesses have started reopening, the hospitalization rate for COVID has increased noticeably. That seem to be real valid data... not opinion.
It's so interesting because I started watching some random YouTube food channels from people traveling around Asia in the past few months all the way up to days ago and there are a lot of people walking around not looking concerned that the world is going to end. Not saying that is concrete evidence of anything, I just thought it was interesting that there was vivid contrasts to what we are told the state of the world is.

Every area is different, but I think most would agree that it was expected that opening more things up would lead to an increase in COVID-19 everythings. But we have to break the numbers down, increased openings + increased testing = more cases. Of those cases most will recover fully or have no symptoms, of those with symptoms some will have flu like symptoms, of those with flu like symptoms some will end up hospitalized, of those hospitalized some will go to the ICU, of those in the ICU some will die. Yes it sucks and is not a good thing but I still don't understand how I will talk to people around here who demand we shut down immediately if any new cases are reported. Here in NY we are doing massive testing a day and only seeing about a 1% COVID-19 positive result. In the area I am in we have some increased cases and deaths (most from nursing homes) but are in the process of gearing up for phase 4. So while CA may be seeing an increase, if the overall numbers are overwhelming the healthcare systems and the "curve" there I think it will be okay.
 
719
264
Joined May 25, 2015
So while CA may be seeing an increase...
I keep thinking about why Arizona had a spike. You don't have to be an epidemiologist to put two and two together. Our major outbreak here in NY was during the winter and in the winter people congregate indoors breathing the same air exhaled by others. What's the temperature in Arizona, 110 degrees in the shade? People aren't going out, they're staying in the air conditioning that's blowing the same recycled air around.

And I hate to say this but also consider how they are "cooking" the statistics. I keep hearing that deaths not related to covid are recorded as covid or covid related. Just the other day I head from a son who's father had died of a heart attack. The death certificate he received listed the cause of death as covid and when he asked his doctor why that was so, the doctor said that they were told to do it that way.
 
628
229
Joined Sep 17, 2018
I keep thinking about why Arizona had a spike. You don't have to be an epidemiologist to put two and two together. Our major outbreak here in NY was during the winter and in the winter people congregate indoors breathing the same air exhaled by others. What's the temperature in Arizona, 110 degrees in the shade? People aren't going out, they're staying in the air conditioning that's blowing the same recycled air around.

And I hate to say this but also consider how they are "cooking" the statistics. I keep hearing that deaths not related to covid are recorded as covid or covid related. Just the other day I head from a son who's father had died of a heart attack. The death certificate he received listed the cause of death as covid and when he asked his doctor why that was so, the doctor said that they were told to do it that way.
NY has been doing this with their numbers for awhile, specifically after the CDC published guidelines on recording COVID-19 deaths. Their is information on the breakdown on confirmed deaths/probable deaths/excess deaths for NY state that shows our numbers in May were being reported with basically 2/3's of the cases not confirmed COVID-19 deaths in any scientific manner. The CDC also wants to lump antibody tests in with positive new cases now, when it should really be reflected in resolved cases. As far as the doctor thing there have been several articles outlining financial incentives to list COVID-19 deaths for hospitals from federal funds so I guess they figure why not?
 
719
264
Joined May 25, 2015
Their is information on the breakdown on confirmed deaths/probable deaths/excess deaths for NY state that shows our numbers in May were being reported with basically 2/3's of the cases not confirmed COVID-19 deaths in any scientific manner. The CDC also wants to lump antibody tests in with positive new cases now, when it should really be reflected in resolved cases. As far as the doctor thing there have been several articles outlining financial incentives to list COVID-19 deaths for hospitals from federal funds so I guess they figure why not?
And remember, these are the numbers they look at to decide when to allow business to open up.

Yeah like how the CDC says wear masks and the WHO says you don't have to unless you are directly caring for COVID-19 patients. Who do you believe?
Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Good point!
 
Last edited:
64
28
Joined Jun 8, 2017
I am now working full-time after a 4 month hiatus due to the virus. We have to wear masks and it does get hot. I recommend buying multiple masks because food smells get trapped (cloth). I have also started breaking out around my chin area. It does get uncomfortable but, 'it is what it is' now. I also wear a mask when going out to protect myself and others. To add to what Brian has stated: even when we talk or shout spit does 'spew' out even if we aren't conciously aware of it. Better to be safe than sorry because the virus does sound painful to catch. Congrats on the FT job!
 
64
28
Joined Jun 8, 2017
Only exception seems to be many Hispanics who I see even driving around with masks and gloves. Maybe it's because they can't afford to get sick or if they are illegal they fear deportation.
Are you fu**ing kidding me? First off, you can take your underlying racist bullsh!t somewhere else. It is because they are more respectful and following guidelines. I was in Mexico during COVID and everyone was wearing masks there as well as street vendors selling them. Just because you don't want to wear a mask doesn't mean you have the right to demean a culture or an ethnicity.
 
628
229
Joined Sep 17, 2018
Are you fu**ing kidding me? First off, you can take your underlying racist bullsh!t somewhere else. It is because they are more respectful and following guidelines. I was in Mexico during COVID and everyone was wearing masks there as well as street vendors selling them. Just because you don't want to wear a mask doesn't mean you have the right to demean a culture or an ethnicity.
In reference to the racism claim, I will quote Inigo Montoya, "I do not think it means what you think it means." He made two statements that while may "hurt someone's feelings" aren't racist just because they involve a minority. I don't think not wanting to miss work because you can't afford to get sick in only a hispanic problem in our industry. Also, as much as the truth may hurt there is a lot of illegal labor in this country, and naturally a portion of that would be in service industries like food service. I remember how long it took me to get a line cook job near the city, even with my experience and degree because there was an abundance of under the table work being done by hispanics. I didn't hate or blame them for this, it just was what it was and simply pointing this out does not make anyone a racist.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom