New California glove law unfairly holds hands of bartenders

New regulation forces bartenders to wear gloves while preparing drinks

Story by Steve Fruehauf, Sports Editor

Due to recent changes in California Retail Food Code, culinary workers have been banned, effective Jan. 1, from preparing food with their bare hands. But it’s looking like chefs aren’t the only people who have to abide by the new law.

Bartenders from the golden state are also included. They are now required to wear gloves even when performing simple tasks like scooping ice or putting limes in drinks.

While some may think this is a step towards greater public health, I think this regulation is only going to burden bars. The first glaring problem is the unnecessary amount of time that will inevitably envelope the industry.

People already wait absurd amounts of time for drinks. Adding the hassle of putting on and taking off gloves every time someone wants ice is likely going to anger belligerent customers and ultimately affect how many drinks they purchase.

Fewer drinks ordered means bartenders will see their tips decline and eventually the bar’s overall profit may take a nosedive. Customer rejection or even a person bad-mouthing the staff of a popular bar can be catastrophic to business.

Legislators need to understand while wearing gloves may be an effective tool for chefs handling food, it has the potential to be detrimental elsewhere. Besides, wearing different pairs of gloves throughout an entire night sounds like a great way to collect different germs in one place.

Instead of pushing this new law, reinforcing the idea of being hygienic sounds more realistic for this fast paced business. Bartenders should be required to wash their hands every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure cleanliness.

Make sure preparation of added drink ingredients like limes or lemons are done in a clean manner. Have these workers wear gloves during this phase earlier in the day. This way, legislators are ensuring food and drink hygiene and bars aren’t losing money in the process.

If that isn’t enough, have bar managers push the importance of using an ice scoop instead of plucking cubes straight from the glass. This would eliminate the possibility of bartenders touching ice with their bare hands.

I understand the importance of pushing hygiene in a society with germs and unclean people, but there needs to be a way where both sides can benefit. By reinforcing the idea rather than forcing unrealistic laws, both sides can coexist without the loss of business and money.