Skip Nav
Cooking Basics
The Right Way to Scramble Eggs
New Year
20 Homemade Snacks to Ward Off Between-Meal Hunger
20 Slow-Cooker Side Dishes You Never Knew Existed

Should Food Servers Wear Gloves?

While in line at Starbucks, I watched a barista gently place pastries into the glass case. He was wearing big, baggie plastic gloves that looked like they were difficult to wear. The coffee cake slipped from his hands and crumbled on the plate. I couldn't help but wonder why on earth was he wearing those gloves? I know it was for sanitary reasons, but it seemed silly: food should be dealt with by clean hands not slippery plastic (is it even really cleaner than hands?). What do you think, should food servers, cooks, sandwiches makers, baristas, etc. wear gloves?

Join The Conversation
mochachino mochachino 10 years
And on another note how clean are the hands that touch the gloves they put on their hands? Not to be a complete germaphob, but if we are looking at how clean the hands are, did they wash their hands before they put them into the gloves and if not, does it even matter anymore since they are about to croos contaminate my food with the nasty that is on the gloves?
mochachino mochachino 10 years
I think in the case where food is mass produced yes. Like a busy resturaunt like Friday's or Olive Garden. But like Starbucks, think about it if you are supposed to wash your hands every twenty minutes for twenty seconds, including when you sneeze, go the bathroom, smoke, etc, it would seem that the workers hands are cleaner than sometimes ours. And I have seen the patron walk out of the bathroom without washing their hands, considering that I have washed my hands twice before I have made another drink. (in the bathroom and again at the bar) So I honestly think in a somewhat small place like Starbucks if they touched it with their hands, it would be ok, as long as they didn't sneeze or something gross before. And half the time you can visabiliy see them wash their hands with and exposed kitchen like that.
saffy1227 saffy1227 10 years
of course.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
JessBear, I have worked food service, and don't think gloves are necessary EXCEPT for those who handle food AFTER it is cooked. Before it doesn't matter because the germs are killed during the cooking process. Why do you think you can't eat raw chicken without getting sick? Because you have to cook it, to a minimum of 165 degrees F for atleast 15 seconds to kill the salmonella. I know this sounds silly, but the Health Department in your state has a predetermined set of temperatures all food has to be cooked to in order to kill germs, etc. After is is cooked is when the gloves need to come at Subway.
poetess poetess 10 years
Gloves, hair nets, I would prefer face masks and that is ridiculous. For these reasons, I eat at home and take food on the go as much as possible.
wowjules wowjules 10 years
Gloves come in small, medium, and large in the health care industry, I'm pretty sure it's not restricted to just us nurses and doctors. So. Yes, I absolutely think food servers should wear gloves.
JessBear JessBear 10 years
This is going to sound meaner than intended, but- anyone who has to ask that question has obviously never worked in food service. And one thing no one's mentioned- cuts and scrapes on your hands, warts, brittle fingernails, etc. Those little finger condoms and bandaids don't work, because you still have to wash your hands, and then the bandaids fall off. Whenever I've had to wear a bandaid at work, I end up washing my hands LESS, bc it turns into a hassle. And since it's nearly impossible to monitor who has a papercut, and it's mean to say "you have to wear gloves bc you have REALLY hairy knuckles" (you think I'm kidding- but would you want knuckle hair in your sandwich?), it's just better to make gloves the standard. Companies should just suck it up and fork over the money for gloves that fit- we always had disposable gloves in three sizes. And I think it should be mandatory for places that deal only with cooked food, too- I worked at Domino's, and, man, we weren't very sanitary. When you can fall back on "the 500 degree oven will kill everything" (not mocking cravinsugar- we really used to say that!), you tend to be reeeeeally lax about hand washing. Gosh, this was long. :-)
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Wear gloves and change them OFTEN!! It grosses me out at places where they don't wear gloves, especially fast food places: One minute they are handling cash (money is soooo dirty) the next they're filling up your fry container and drink...ewww!
pinky8486 pinky8486 10 years
I work in the food service business and gloves are not necessary. Hand washing however, is obviously mandatory several times.
blackjade blackjade 10 years
Glove do a great job of making people (customers) feel better - myself included. That is until I see the person wearing the gloves, handle money, open or closer a drawer......basically touch anything other than the food or a plate and the gloves are now no cleaner than your hands. lovely. everyone should just use tongs :)
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
amandaaa, you can go online and look up what health score the restaurant you want to eat at has. in Virginia, if it is not an "A" then all the critical violations are listed online for all to see. Health inspectors can be sneaky about checking to see if your hands are washed, so if a restaurant gets an "A" rating, for the most part people are diong what they are supposed to.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
haha, except for people who are allergice to neoprene (me) haha. I guess everyting is allergic to someone. My lips and tongue swell up after i get a mean rash and then i continue to deteriorate further frmo there. kind of like Paris haha.
amandaaa amandaaa 10 years
when i read the headline i was like YEAH what a stupid question! but now that you mention the difficulty, i see your point. hmm...but how do we know workers will constantly wash their hands?
facin8me facin8me 10 years
Just like anything- it depends on how it's implemented. If people can't take the time to wash their hands, there's no indication that they will take the gloves on and off as needed and they'll just wear them for everything that they're doing. Also, it's a bad idea to wear latex gloves (the nice fitting kind that the doctors use) when preparing food for the public because so many people have allergies to it. My best friend's mother has to call every restaurant before she eats at it to ensure that they do not use latex gloves in the kitchen. She learned this lesson the hard way- she went into anaphylactic shock after eating some vegetables that were cut up by a worker wearing latex gloves. Vinyl gloves or a neoprene based glove works well, but they are either too floppy on the hand or too expensive, respectively.
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 10 years
We have the right not to engage in unprotected food consumption. :)
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
It completely depends on the situation and the food. And this is coming from a girl with a very, very low immune system. :) I do believe as a society we are getting a little too hung up on germs. (Please don't throw things at me!)People are constantly scrubbing with anti-bacterial soap when it actually does more harm than good. However, I will say there are definitely times where we really need to be concerned about what we come in contact with and how we get clean afterward.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
Of course they should. They do have different types of plastic gloves. Of course the cheap ones are the one size fit's all slippery plastic ones. The more expensive ones are like the ones doctors use.
SweetMagicFairy SweetMagicFairy 10 years
txhottie txhottie 10 years
As a former manager of a Starbucks like coffee shop - GLOVES. And at that it is still a mystery to me how people don't think about what they are touching with the glove. Starbucks buys those big baggy gloves b/c they fit everyone and are cheaper than the latex or rubber gloves. If you are wearing gloves that is great, but don't touch your head, hair, nose, or god forbid the horrible apron! Which by the way don't get washed, and they are traded all amongst the baristas! I used to take them home myself in two piles and wash them for my employees! I think a chef in a restaurant is a different story than the local coffee shop, fast food place or diner. They are professionals, so they should know.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
I have to say something. I realize there are lot s of OCD people who don't want anything touching their body that isn't sterilized (which is why these people throw their paper towels to hold the bathroom door when leaving in the floor-so sanitary by the way), but you are not going to get sick from someone touching your food after handling money 9.5 times out of 10. Unless you have a immune problem. Sure, after the bathroom its an issue, but seriously! My friends that use antibacterial stuff, and are germ freaks, get sick as often as I do, and I do not wash my hands after i touch everything. And I don't use antibacterial stuff cause it grosses me out.
Danigirl77 Danigirl77 10 years
Hears my point you can't depend on the people to wash there hands... I was at target and ordered something to eat the server had on one glove ....he took the persons in front of me money and gave her change. Then made my food with the hand that he counted the money in. So I said something to him and he could not see where I would have a issue with that.
Blue-Sarah Blue-Sarah 10 years
When I worked for a gourmet catering service for a college we'd use plastic gloves for meats and eggs. Everything else we washed our hand enough times that all of us had cracked hands. Man when we'd put anti-bacterial gel our hands our just burn! So while not everyone in the food service does wear gloves, the others are washing their hands like crazy. Now granted this doesn't apply to fast food and Starbucks, those people should be wearing gloves.
1missy 1missy 10 years
gloves are great but too many people leave them on while doing other things.
onesong onesong 10 years
gloves and please use tongs whenever possible.
PinkUnicorn PinkUnicorn 10 years
As long as they are cleaning their hands properly before handling the food I think the gloves are unnecessary.
Why Princess Diana Didn't Wear Gloves
Sexiest HGTV Star of 2016 Poll
Who Is the Best Once Upon a Time Character of 2016?
Selena Gomez's Sexiest Moment of 2016 Poll
From Our Partners
Latest Food
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds