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Coffee & Converse - Glove Misuse in Food Establishments: A Rant


Coffee and Converse is a new section of March Forth: The Blog. Here, we bring you topics, chats, and conversations to make you stop and think about the world today.

Grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let's converse.


You've witnessed this before. I know you have.

You are standing at the counter of your favorite coffee shop, cafe, pretzel place, ice cream choose the place. You are about to put your order in, and you notice that the person on the other side of the counter is wearing latex gloves, a requirement in just about every food establishment in the country. He/She takes your order, touching the register screen, and your money, while wearing the gloves.

So far, no big deal. Right?

After completing your purchase, the barista turns around, still wearing the gloves, and proceeds to prepare your food. Maybe he/she even grabs his/her cell phone while wearing the gloves before getting your order ready.

All this is done without skipping a beat. Once you have your food, you are ready to walk out the door, only to realize that the person is wearing the same pair of gloves while helping the next customer in line.

This. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. In the post-Covid era, haven't we realized that we need to be just a bit more cautious?

It is a misconception that gloves are worn to protect the worker. They are meant to avoid cross-contamination, which happens when bacteria, viruses, and all-around other gross things, are transferred from surface to surface, and causes harm.

Single-use, disposable, gloves are meant for ONE activity only. If you change tasks, the old gloves need to be tossed in the trash, and the team member needs to get a new pair. Food workers should wash their hands before putting the gloves on. And, for those wondering, no, you cannot reuse a glove once you take it off.

As a former food establishment owner, the glove thing is something that drives me nuts. Do owners not train employees on proper glove use? Do they not know the risks themselves? Are they trying to save money? Save time?

I get it - those gloves add to the cost of meal prep, and changing gloves between tasks adds seconds to the task, which impacts efficiency. Consider the cost of the glove compared to someone getting sick from your food. Is it worth it?

I've gotten food poisoning from a restaurant that did not follow proper food handling procedures. It was awful. I wish it on no-one. One way to prevent it is by preventing the cross-contamination that the gloves are meant to prevent.

Change your gloves. Please!

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Think I am just crazy? Email me and let me know.

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