Last week while speaking with one of our clients they interrupted our call to tell me he had to reschedule. A health inspector had just shown up for a follow up to a random truck inspection he received a few days earlier. If you live in a city that requires multiple random health inspections you can certainly feel his pain.
Later in the day the vendor called me back and explained that he had received a few health inspection violations. Now he had to prepare for the inspector who was coming back to re-inspect. He told me his line cook was observed using bare hands while buttering a sandwich he was preparing as well as other cooked foods he was handling.
When the inspector walked back into the truck, what do you think he saw?
What The Inspector Found
Everyone was proudly wearing gloves. From the line cook to the service window attendant, and boxes of gloves were within reach of everyone. Was this the best solution? Probably not, but to be honest, using gloves inappropriately or not changing them once they get contaminated can be just as risky as not wearing gloves at all.
So what is the common reasons that cause food handlers to use gloves properly? In a survey we conducted last year, nearly 200 of the 250 food truck vendors we spoke with claimed that “time constraints” were their biggest challenge to getting their staff members to use gloves correctly.
According to these vendors, multitasking at during a busy lunch shift made it difficult to change gloves or wear them when needed. As I explained to my client, the use of gloves doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive to be done right.
Effective Solutions For Safe Food Truck Glove Use During Busy Service:
- Wear one glove. This will save time and will protect any ready-to-eat foods from one hand.
- Install a hanging glove rack. This frees up counter space by holding the gloves on unused wall space. This will make it easy for staff members to put on a glove with one hand quickly.
- Use loose fitting gloves. This will make them slip on and off quickly for those busy times.
- Train your staff. Instruct them why proper glove use is important and supervise their glove use daily. This will help to ingrain good habits and minimize any problems they have.
The Bottom Line
One important fact that you and your food truck staff need to understand is that FDA regulations only require a barrier (this could be gloves, paper sheets or utensils) between bare hands and ready-to-eat foods. This rule does not relate to foods that will be cooked later.
Have you run into issues with getting your staff to follow proper food truck glove protocols? If you did, how did you correct the situation? We’d love to hear any suggestion you have on food truck glove use that we may have missed. Share your thoughts in the comment section, our food truck forum or social media. Twitter | Facebook