I was at the grocery shop last week, I needed to buy some sliced turkey breast so I was at the delicatessen section waiting for someone to come help me. At some point one of the staff members who was at the counters came behind the bar, put a hair net on and opened the fridge, before he grabbed anything I pointed out "hey, you were just at the counter touching a lot of things" he replied "it's ok I have gloves".
It's amazing, I've seen it many times and failed to realize it's not ok until the pandemic hit us, it's ok, I know you've seen it too and never paid attention to it, we tend to feel a false sense of safety when we see someone wearing a pair of gloves. I'm sure you've seen that guy in the food kiosk at Global Village playing with his phone and right after the cashier punches your order, putting the phone away and preparing your food, all with the gloves on.
It's no secret that one of the dirtiest things in the world are cellphones, we carry them everywhere, we leave them in places, they fall on the floor, we take them out in public restrooms (they fall to the floor there too), so, after thinking about it it's quite concerning the fact that everyone is so unaware and doesn't pay attention to what the people preparing the food does with the gloves on, the latex gloves are there to protect their hands from bacterias present in the food, prevent beef or chicken from going under their nails and growing bacterial or fungal infections if not removed as well as protecting the food from bacterias in their hands, but they can't protect anything from bacterias in the gloves themselves.
Things to watch for
Whenever you're at the supermarket, food kiosk or restaurant (if they have an open kitchen where you can see the cooks working inside) you need to be aware and observant of what's happening, they shouldn't touch their phones, money or things that don't belong to the kitchen and then manipulate food without at least sanitizing their gloves, they shouldn't also manipulate, for example, raw proteins and then ready-to-eat food, that's called cross-contamination, so, if a cook is manipulating raw chicken and then goes and prepare a salad without sanitizing or changing their gloves, the one eating that salad is at risk of getting Salmonella.
A quick list of when people should change or at least sanitize their gloves could be:
- If on the phone and then have to manipulate food
- After manipulating money, everyone touches it
- At the supermarket after manipulating products from the shelves
- After manipulating raw food
- If coughs and covers the mouth with the hand (you must at least use hand sanitizer)
- After going to the toilet (you must change your gloves in this case)
- In general after being out of the kitchen
- After manipulating objects that doesn't belong to the kitchen
If you know, you can kindly request them to sanitize or change their gloves before touching your food, there's no harm if you do it with respect and, of course, under the ongoing situation, everyone will understand.