Bartenders Have To Wear Gloves Under New State Law
It's not just chefs and sushi chefs: California's new law requiring food workers to wear gloves affects bartenders, too.
The new state law that went into effect this year forbids food workers from using their bare hands to touch food that isn't going to be heated or reheated. They have to don gloves, use utensils or wax paper any time they come in contact with food. That means bartenders will have to use utensils or put on gloves to add ice, squeeze a lemon or add a garnish.
Angelica Pappas, a spokeswoman for the California Restaurant Association told the Los Angeles Times, "Technically speaking, these rules do apply to bars. It’s been a common question we’ve heard ... so there may be more information to come on this in guidance documents from the health inspectors."
Some of the high-end bartenders who make the trendy cocktails that rely on all sorts of fresh ingredients are not happy. Bartender Matthew Biancaniello said he feels "suffocated" by gloves. He told the Times, "I'm always touching any kind of herbs from my garden, touching persimmons to feel for their plumpness or softness. But the gloves thing, even when I go to buffets and see it, I flinch a little and think 'hospital.'"
Though the law went into effect on January 1, health regulators won't be cracking down on violators just yet—they've got a six month grace period.