Gloves May Be Less Common In The Service Industry Than We Think

It's reasonable to wish for proper handling of the food you consume, which is why a TikTok user with the handle @ashcashnyc posted a video when they felt this wasn't the case (via Daily Dot). The since-deleted TikTok revealed a Wingstop worker placing chicken in the deep fryer without gloves, prompting the original poster to cancel their food order.

It's no doubt that proper food handling is vital in the service industry. According to TN.GOV, touching certain foods with your bare hands can expose diners to foodborne illnesses. Though handwashing definitely helps kill bacteria, it doesn't remove the risk altogether. Though this may sound alarming, especially when you don't know what's going on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant, you're likely safer than you think. These rules typically apply to foods that aren't being cooked again, such as sandwiches, baked goods, sushi, and fresh fruit. This is likely why the original TikToker didn't receive the response they expected to their video.

Wearing gloves may mean less hand-washing

According to The Daily Dot, TikTok users rushed to defend the gloveless Wingstop worker seen in the viral video. "All the bacteria burns with the oils heat you'll be fine they don't touch the wings once they put it in that pot lmfao," one comment read. Another comment was from a presumed Wingstop worker who claims employees "[Wash their] hands and then drop the baskets." They echoed that because when the oil for fried chicken reaches the right temperature — 350 degrees, in this case — this heat can help kill any harmful bacteria. Cooking oil can even repel bacteria when placed on metal surfaces, according to Science Alert. However, one comment may have stood out the most: "As someone who is a chef... I promise you even at the finest restaurants we do not use gloves," it read.

This may be shocking to some, but according to the CDC, cooks with gloves on wash their hands fewer times than those without, increasing the potential spread of bacteria. When gloves are worn, those working in food prep are supposed to change them between tasks. Oftentimes, unfortunately, they do not. In the CDC study, many employees admit to changing their gloves infrequently, even after handling raw meat. "[Gloves] have their place but really... they have created a belief in food service that just by wearing gloves everything will be clean," CIA graduate Timothy Fisher told Food Beast. Basically, if gloves aren't being used effectively in the first place, bare hands might be the best way to go.