Skip to comments.No More Bare-Handed Food Handling in California. Even You, Sushi Chefs
Posted on 01/12/2014 3:25:45 PM PST by nickcarraway
A great sushi chef in another state once complained to me about a health code violation he'd received for making sushi without gloves. "Making sushi with gloves is like making love with a condom," he said. "It just isn't the same." Well, as of Jan. 1, California's law has changed so that there can no longer be any bare-handed contact with foods that won't be cooked. That means baked goods, salads - and yes, even sushi.
According to Nation's Restaurant News, the new law will undergo a "soft rollout" over the next six months, meaning restaurants will receive warnings rather than violations on inspection reports so that owners and operators can become familiar with the new law. NRN describes the specifics of the law:
Under the new rules, such foods must be handled with single-use gloves or utensils like tongs, forks, spoons, bakery or deli wraps, wax paper, scoops, spatulas, or dispensing equipment.
As mandated previously, foodservice workers must also thoroughly wash hands with soap and warm water before entering a food preparation area, before putting on clean gloves or between glove changes. That's a lot of hand washing.
It's hard to imagine the sushi masters at our finest Japanese restaurants adhering to this rule. So much of sushi preparation is about feel and tactile sense memory.
There is a way for restaurants to seek an exemption for specific situations, but it's unlikely that the exemption covers "thousands of years of tradition."
Hooray for safe sex, we suppose?
I like the ducks hanging outside the Chinese restaurant near us...They do attract flies....lots flies....disgusting..
Watching all these food shoes....chefs are constantly sticking their fingers in the food...
Gloves offer a false sense of security. It attracts dust, germs and mold, not to mention the possibility of the glove becoming damaged and breaking off into the food.
It’s better for sanitation to use the gloves, but I wonder if the fingernails are kept trimmed down so as not to be able to catch material, and the hands are well washed with antibacterial soap and then touch-free air dried, it would be good enough to avoid most pathogens.
The spread of immunodeficiency diseases throws a wild card into the formula, too.
Maybe someone will invent a sushi making robot and then nobody will need to touch the sushi.
I can appreciate why a chef wants to handle food with his hands, and most professional chefs are very particular about having clean hands and know how to avoid contaminating his food.
However, I have seen in small food places the person making the food touching everything, pens, the till, the remote for the tv, their body, etc.
Aren’t some people allergic to latex?
What about the chefs who have sweet dripping into the food?
Most people’s pee could go into food and not do anything worse than give it a funky taste.
But seriously. It’s like making sausage. They may try to be careful but it’s not perfect.
Most gloves are hypo-allergic free.
I walked out of a mom/pop Chinese place after making a large order to go when I glanced at the cash register.
I’ve seen cleaner keyboards in the grease bays of auto repair shops.
They make laws against plastic shopping bags that can carry many meals at once from store to house, but enact laws to make single use plastic gloves for one meal? Maybe they will let the cooks use re-usable cloth gloves.
The state that openly allows gays to bugger several men while in the same public bathtub wants to improve sanitation? Curious.
They can’t balance a budget worth sh*t, but the CA Legislature is all over crap like this.
It is practically impossible to be completely clean. First of all, look at Subway, they do put on gloves and then they open that microwave or toaster oven and there goes the “clean” gloves. Or they open one of the canisters .gone are those “clean” gloves. Or they grab the scooper or the condiment to put on your sandwich .no more clean gloves. And you are right about the cash register. Plus the WORST thing for anybody at a restaurant fancy or otherwise is the MENU! Forget even having a clean dinner with that. Sorry but we just don’t live in a perfectly germ free world no matter what people are lead to believe. In fact, it is dangerous to even say that gloves or anti-bacterial lotions are going to be great for you when all it does is put a false hope into people.
Why don’t they just make everything illegal? They will eventually and they can fine their way to prosperity.
Best cure for sushi is to cook the damn fish.
Domo arigato Mr. Roboto.
Yeah, but you can also buy non-latex food handling gloves now. The restaurant supply store I used to go to (volunteered for a concession stand) carried vinyl ones, and also polyurethane. The Poly-U ones were funky, IIRC - very crinkly, kind of like a snack chip bag.
Is it a robot or a rawbot?
How do we know that the gloves are clean? Is each pair going to be hermetically sealed? What about the factory where the gloves are made? They probably come from China.
I would think CA would have had a law in place about that already since they have a law for everything else. Oh, I forgot, it’s CA.
Doubt they would follow this. I just came from the fabric district and they gave us plastic bags, not paper.
Someone still has to clean the robot. Having cleaned a few Hobarts in my younger days, I can tell you that there are some scuzzy food preparation machines in the commercial & institutional kitchens of the country.
An understanding of the necessity of cleanliness and an individual commitment to that by everyone of the kitchen & wait staff would be far more effective that a hundred new regulations.
Bureaucrats & lawyers either are ignorant of this fact or deliberately choose to ignore it.
Sushi bars charging at least $20 per piece will be exempt as ‘performance art’.
You are absolutely correct.
The best way to break nanny state control freaks of this false sense of security is to put on a pair of food handling gloves and obviously pick your nose while wearing them.
Most people would rather have correctly washed clean hands touching their food if they think about it for any length of time.
In the kitchens that I managed, I checked fingernails daily and would fire someone for not washing their hands properly.