Chefs Don't Agree With New California Law Requiring Gloves During Food Preparation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Many consider sushi an art. But a new state law will soon require a glove between these artists and their creations. Chase Cain reports. (Published Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014)

    Many consider sushi an art. But a new state law will soon require a glove between these artists and their creations.

    "The service is going to be slow because of the glove," said Gary Wong, a sushi chef. "When you're making sushi, you have to use the bare hand to feel the texture and the fish."

    MORE: Chefs Required to Wear Gloves Under New California Law

    Wong also worries that gloves could lead to fingers getting cut with a slip of the knife. And it's a worry shared across cuisines, like at Pican in downtown Oakland.

    "It's difficult because your hands sweat," said Sophina Uong, Pican's executive chef. "You're in a very dangerous environment when you're dealing with high degrees of heat, going in and out of the oven."

    Because Pican has a full bar, even their bartenders must wear gloves or use tongs. From squeezing limes to picking up olives, bartenders are prohibited from touching anything with their bare hands.

    "You have to be worried about food-borne contaminants, but I'm just not aware of what the law is addressing," said Michael Leblanc, Pican's owner. "Because I'm not aware of this big illness that's going around."

    Frequent diners also don't seem to understand what problem the new rule is solving.

    "To put a glove on, it doesn't prevent anything," said Dennis Vales, a customer. "You pick up the glove with your hands. You open them and put them on. You've already touched the glove. It's senseless."