If appears that California’s unpopular new law requiring culinary workers to wear gloves when handling food will also apply to those behind the bar. Bartenders must now wear gloves or utensils like tweezers when touching ingredients such as herbs, olives, lemon wedges and ice cubes.
Unfortunately, as in the case with chefs in the kitchen, many bartenders may find this new law both tedious and limiting. “I’m always touching any kind of herbs from my garden, touching persimmons to feel for their plumpness or softness,” bartender Matthew Biancaniello told the LA Times. “But the gloves thing, even when I go to buffets and see it, I flinch a little and think ‘hospital.'”
To ease the blow, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that the law will see a “soft roll-out” these next six months to a year. During this period, food handlers will not be penalized by point deductions when not using gloves but will receive a warning instead.
Still, seeing my bartender garnish my old fashioned with a pair of latex gloves might bug me out just a little.