Glove Use in Restaurants

The Board of Health receives many inquires regarding food employees not wearing gloves. Wearing gloves is NOT mandatory. The paragraph below is from the current FDA Food Code Massachusetts health inspectors enforce. This paragraph explains the many options food service employees may use to avoid bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food. (Ready-to-eat food is food that is edible without washing, cooking or additional preparation.)

Food Code Chapter 3-301.11(B) states in part, “Except when washing fruits and vegetables, food employees may not contact exposed, ready-to-eat food with their bare hands and shall use suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves or dispensing equipment.” 

A Food Code Violation exists if there is no barrier between the bare hand and the ready-to-eat food. Gloves are not the only barrier.

For more detailed information, click here for guidelines from the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare Food Protection Program.