Does it bother you that your chef touches your food?

I was walking by a Chinese/Cantonese BBQ restaurant. You know. The ones you can the roasted meat hanging up near the window and the chefs chopping them up as you order. It just occurred to me that they usually touch the cooked food with their bare hands. Then of course I realize many chefs do that as well. Sushi chefs also often touch the food with their bare hands.

Does this brother you? Would you be happier if they wear gloves?

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For example, in 2014, California first banned chefs from directly touch the ready-to-eat food, and then the same law was shortly repealed.

California lawmakers have pulled an about-face on a controversial change to the state’s health code that bans restaurant workers from touching food with their bare hands and requires chefs and bartenders to wear gloves. The Senate voted 32 to 0 Thursday to repeal the law that went into effect Jan. 1. The measure was previously approved by the Assembly.

Let me know what you think. Thanks.

I don’t know if it matters too much. Here’s why. I once waited for someone to cook my noodle after I placed an order at a counter. The gentleman came back to his station from somewhere. He wore gloves. He proceeded to grab a broom and the ‘dust collector’ (or whatever its called) and started sweeping the floor near his station, all the while with his gloves on. And then he put the equipment down, turned on the faucet and rinsed his gloves for 2 seconds, and prepared my noodle.

So bad hygiene is still bad hygiene whether one is made to wear gloves or not. Good hygiene without gloves is fine, to me.

The one thing that bother me these days is people not washing their hands thoroughly before they prepare food, especially after they touch their phones or wallets. It bothers me because thermal paper used for receipts often contain BPA, and receipts are often in the same pocket/ bag where phones and wallets are stored.



There’s a fair amount of research out there (cited in a chowhound discussion about this topic) that says that workers tend to not think about what they have touched when wearing gloves.

Doesnt bother me at all.

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I don’t know about what I don’t see that happens in the back of the kitchen. I heard terrible stories. I don’t particularly mind that chef touches food with their CLEAN hands.

One thing that bothers me is how they sell breads in the bakeries in France. The same person take your order, bring you the bread, touch the money and credit cards and the tickets. Some more professional bakeries (more in selling cakes), the person preparing the order and paying are different. I don’t understand why with bread they can’t do it!


That would be how food sellers in the UK also work - not just bakers, but butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers, as well.

It’s a lot easier to wash meat, fish, and produce than bread, though!

(I don’t care, but then I’ve eaten food served on leaves on Indian train platforms, so I’m clearly not as fussy about hygiene as some. :slight_smile: )


Clean hands doesn’t bother me. I did see a box of produce picked up off the floor and placed on the chopping board while the server then took unwashed parsley out and chopped that. When I ordered a bagel she put the parsley box back on the floor and sliced my bagel on the chopping board that had just the dirty box taken from it.

I said no thanks and told her why. She didn’t get it.


True. Not that I recall ever washing meat.

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In fact, if you eat steak tartare or sashimi, you can only clean them in a limited way…

Anyway, we are still alive, so I believe we are much stronger than we believed.

As Sam F. said “I live in a magic house” and it follows me wherever I do!

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What else are they supposed to do ? Even with gloves they touch crap also . No big deal for me with the bare hands .

Yeah, that is a problem… gloves or no gloves. In some places, they have one person touch/grab the product and another person who takes care of There is a bread shop which I frequent, and there they grab a wax paper first to touch the bread.

not one bit. I worked in restaurants for 20 years and I know that fingers on food is the least of my concerns…


Many restaurants that serve “tweezer” cuisine don’t actually employ tweezers at all. :wink:

Here in California I’m struck by how often preparers wash their hands. A separate sink for hand washing is part of the code. At a local hofbrau last week, the preparer washed his hands between every customer, and he’s not handling money or sweeping.

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Here are the reasons I have had food poisoning or violent reactions to food:

1 - Bad oyster
2 - Again bad oyster
3 - Undercooked pork
4 - Unpasteurized peeky-toe crab
5 - Tomatoes on a sandwich at the Lounge at Mexico City Airport

No pattern with the gloves or glovelessness. Some luck or bad luck of the draw and the last stupidness on my part.

As others have stated, I hate when the same person plays with the money and tries to then make my sandwich. Simple solution, “Could you please change your gloves before making my order?” If they do not I leave or do not accept the sandwich.

As others have also stated, Sammy F.will always be at the forefront of any “Magic House” discussions.

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How else would s/he prepare it?

Lawdy. Things people get bothered about… boggles the mind.


Following up to say that at lunch today I saw the preparer scoop some rice onto my plate of chili verde and tamp it down with her bare hands. This did give me pause.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2