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AshlynM's avatar

Who do I write to about getting all food handlers in restaurants to wear gloves?

Asked by AshlynM (10096points) September 26th, 2010

I think it’s a health and safety issue, not just for customers, but employees as well.

As the customer, you don’t know where their hands have been prior to touching the meat or other food items.

I think they also need to wear hats or hairnets to protect the food from any loose hairs. I realize hats are already worn but hairnets would be good too.

After watching a pizza prank video on youtube where two co workers stuck food up their nose, I rarely eat out anymore.

Would anyone know where or who I need to write to to get this accomplished? Congress, the President? Senator?

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8 Answers

weeveeship's avatar

The Department of Health and Human Services

lillycoyote's avatar

I believe that kind of thing is handled at the State level, they have the authority to inspect restaurants and issue citations, etc. so you should probably contact the department of your particular state who handles these things.

Kardamom's avatar

One good place to start is with Dear Abby. Her column is read by millions of people every day. You should also start writing letters to your local restaurants where you have seen the problem of employees not wearing gloves etc. Then urge Dear Abby’s readers to do the same. It might not solve the problem, but it can sure put a dent in it. While you’re at it, you can urge all businesses (restaurants especially) to put in hand sanitizer where both patrons and employees can use it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I understand your concern. I have often wondered the same thing when it comes to seeing gross examples of food handling either in the news or in real life. Here is the reality from personal experience in 30 years in the hospitality industry.

You cannot rely on the health practices of others preparing your food. No matter how strict the rules are in a restaurant, it only takes one disgruntled person to do something that, should you find out, would make your toes curl. Health inspectors come around a couple of times a year. Good managers and owners aren’t at an establishment peering over the shoulders of those that they rely on. I could be wearing gloves and wipe my nose before preparing your food, and you’d never know. Hair, skin cells and bodily fluids come in contact with food no matter how careful we are.

Unless you grow your own, cook them properly, or scrub them down like the health fanatic (that my brother is), you are more likely to experience the things that you are concerned about. Wearing gloves isn’t the be all/end all solution.

Here is the good news: Most of the food prep things that are experienced, whether we find out about it or not, like a hair, won’t harm us. It is disgusting and might result in a gag reflex or worse, but it won’t cause any long-term damage.

ETpro's avatar

Would gloves really make much of a difference? Wouldn’t they serve just as well as bare hands to transport pathogens?

YARNLADY's avatar

I guess it already is a rule in California – when I checked out several food service places, they were all wearing gloves. Just one more plastic thing to be added to the trash heaps.

Haleth's avatar

We get health inspections a few times a year, and one of the requirements is that employees have to wear gloves. It’s pretty much a given.

It seems like if you choose nicer restaurants, it’s a lot less likely for gross stuff to happen to your food. Every story I hear about something bad ending up in food, it’s always at some sort of fast food place like Taco Bell or Pizza Hut. (Or in the movie Waiting, where they worked at the worst chain family restaurant ever.) On the other hand, a higher-end, more professional restaurant takes its reputation more seriously and will also have happier and better paid staff. You can also choose places where the food is prepared in front of you, like Subway or Cosi, the counter at a sushi restaurant, or a pizza place with an open kitchen.

On the other hand, you saw a youtube video, and now you want to write to someone about all food handlers in every restaurant? The whole point of posting something on youtube is to get as many hits as possible. These guys did it by shocking and offending people, and you went for it. That’s kind of a knee-jerk reaction,

Seek's avatar

I’m not convinced an open package of plastic gloves sitting on a countertop is anything more than a haven for bacteria – not to mention roaches. Those buggers love plastic bags. I think washing hands frequently, especially after handling raw meat and using the restroom, will do more good than a box of disposable gloves.

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