Latex Gloves

I had seen the clip Monday about Schiller’s and was just too grossed out to pass it along. It also looks a bit hoax-y to me so I didn’t link to it. And I think I was in some denial; I spent my birthday there in November and just yuck, yuck, yuckity yuck. But the latex glove article in today’s New York Times reminds me of one reason I’m anti-glove. [Which is a different concern than latex allergies, which are also on the rise! Dear friend Bo , and Isabel I just discovered, actually have this issue and have had nightmarish responses to latex.]

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the bagel guy [pre-gluten-free-ness obviously] make a very nice everything with a schmear and top it with lox. Nothing outrageous there, quite normal in fact. And yes, he’s wearing gloves, as any good establishment will insist upon. But what he doesn’t realize, because he can’t feel it, is that he’s getting very intimate with said lox. As in lox slime all over his gloves. When he takes my order he can’t possibly know that he will be passing along highly toxic materials on to my bagel. How could he know because he can’t feel that his hands are dirty! Because in effect they aren’t, they’re safe and clean in the glove. And the glove that has turned orange with lox-y goo doesn’t concern him, because they’re gloves and not his hand. So he’s still thinking, “My hand are clean-I’m using safe practices here.” And then, he moves to make me something! With those lox-y, gooey, fishy killer hands! PS I’m very allergic to salmon. Of course, I politely ask him to change his gloves and hope that he hasn’t slimed too many implements that will be making my bagel.

How many times does that happen behind the scenes? Too, too many I fear. Oh dear, what is the answer? Constant hand washing is difficult to regulate so is constant glove changing. And as latex allergies, that is allergies to the latex itself, are on the rise, asking food handlers to wear them might be asking them to risk their health. I don’t have an answer here; is there a good answer?


ana montero said…
Hi. My name is Ana Montero. I am a spanish blogger. I just to say you hello. I have three celiac daughters and I have a blog (in spanish language, of course) like you. Excuse me my poor english because english language is very dificult for me. I wish you a lot of luck.
Kisses from Spain.
Vivian Mahoney said…
I just discovered your blog and find it so informative.

You raise an interesting question about the latex gloves. We have a few places we go to on a regular basis so when I ask the person to change gloves, clean cutting board, knife, etc., they will graciously do so. Also I just stay at the counter...watching.

But the idea of the food preparers making all those meals with the same latex gloves...It's kinda disgusting isn't it? You'd think that would violate some type of health code.

And what happens behind those walls when you're at a sit down restaurant? I know chefs are not always careful because of the hives on my child's face. So for right now, we stick to going to places where we can keep an eye on things.
Allergic Girl® said…
ana--thank you for visiting and your english is wonderful!

hipwritermama-thank you for writing as well, glad you've found the site informative. i love what you had to say about your middle child and her, and your, excellent attitude! re: latex, what happens behind closed doors with gloves is a problem [among other issues]. i think by being a repeat customer to restaurants who have great practices helps.

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