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New California Law Requires Bartenders to Wear Gloves While Making Drinks

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Jan 16, 2014 03:11 PM EST

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Try not to be surprised if you walk into a bar in California and the bartenders are wearing gloves. Los Angeles bartenders have been told that they have to wear gloves while making drinks from now on due to a new food safety law.

Chefs are already required to wear gloves but now bartender have to wear them as well or they have to use other utensils and are not allowed to handle ice, fruit garnishes or anything else that goes right into drinks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The new rule went into effect with the start of the new year due to the California Retail Food Code.

In addition to the bartender rule, chefs can no longer touch certain foods with their bare hands like sushi, bread, deli meat, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Some LA bartenders aren't happy with the new rule. Bartender Matthew Biancaniello said he tried using them before.

"I felt really suffocated by it," Biancaniello told the LA times. "I'm always touching any kind of herbs from my garden, touching persimmons to feel for their plumpness or softness. But the gloves thing, even when I go to buffets and see it, I flinch a little and think 'hospital."

Kitchen staff believe the new law in "ineffective and wasteful."

The law will continue to go into effect throughout the year. For now, any bartenders and food handlers that are caught not wearing gloves by the Los Angeles County Health Board will receive a warning.

The workers will eventually have to get used to wearing latex or use tongs and tweezers to help them as they work to get around the rule.


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