Should New York State Change Their Food Handling Guidelines To Prevent Further Spread of Viruses?

Posted By NYC Newswire

Susan Jackson / HealthyNYC.com

As of today over 11,000 people in New York have died from the Coronavirus. This is a time to take every precaution moving forward. Many people have always felt that food handlers should not touch food directly, with or without gloves.  However, according to New York State guidelines it is fine for food handlers to directly touch ready to serve food as long as they are wearing gloves.  The law states “change gloves if the gloves get ripped, torn, or contaminated. Contamination can occur after using the bathroom, smoking, coughing, sneezing, and in between preparing raw and cooked foods.”  The question remains, can you honestly say that most food handlers are following these guidelines.

It would be much safer if food handlers never touch food directly with their hands, whether they are wearing gloves or not. What’s wrong with using serving tongs at all times?

I for one will never again eat food that was directly touched by any food handler, whether they are wearing gloves or not. The risk is not worth it and the rule is easy to change because Serving Tongs exist in just about every size.  There is no reason to use gloved hands to touch ready to serve food.

Did you know that the New York Department of Health has no official rules against food handlers touching money with their gloved hands and then touching your food? Money is known to be dirty after touching multiple hands daily.  New York State Dept of Health only suggests that food handlers change gloves when handling money, but it is not a guideline that they are required to follow,

Below are questions and answers from the New York Department of Health Website.

Am I required to wear disposable sanitary gloves?

State law does not require gloves to be worn, but does require that ready-to-eat food be prepared and served without bare hand contact. Wearing disposable sanitary gloves is one of several acceptable ways to comply with this law.

How can I prepare or serve ready-to-eat food to avoid contact with my bare hands?

You may use any of the following to prepare or serve foods without bare hand contact:

  • tongs;
  • forks & spoons;
  • deli paper;
  • disposable gloves;
  • waxed paper;
  • napkins;
  • spatulas.

Must I change my gloves after touching money with gloves on?

No. Food outbreak investigations have not identified the handling of money as a cause of illness. But it is a good idea to change your gloves and wash your hands between touching money and preparing food. Many patrons complain to the local health department if they see food workers using the same gloves to prepare food and handle money.

Is a short order cook required to wear gloves?

The short order cook may not touch ready-to-eat foods with bare hands. Disposable gloves are one possible way to prevent bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. Another way is to use forks, tongs or spatulas.

When do I have to replace or change gloves?

Always change gloves if the gloves get ripped, torn, or contaminated. Contamination can occur after using the bathroom, smoking, coughing, sneezing, and in between preparing raw and cooked foods. Food worker hands must be washed thoroughly and be cleaned before wearing new gloves.

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