When we go to the Farmers’ Market in Lemoyne on Saturday morning, we usually get a turkey wrap for lunch. Sometimes we sit down at the market and eat, sometimes we save it for later when we go to Borders.
Lately we’ve noticed some interesting behavior by the Turkey Ladies. They wear gloves, the beige plastic ones. It’s required by the state of Pennsylvania for people handling food that will go to the customer without further cooking. The idea is that the gloves are safer than having people wash their hands frequently.
The thing is, they also make notes with a pen and paper when people order. And they make change. Maybe answer the phone. Then they make sandwiches, all with the same gloves on.
I wouldn’t bring this up, but I just started the Food Safety class at HACC with Chef Tim Harris.
One of the first things chef had us do was put on the gloves while he talked. Then he kept talking and led us through the first chapter of the textbook. We paged through, took notes, probably scratched out noses and so on. With gloves on.
At which point he made his point: Wearing gloves is not enough. You have to be mindful of what you’re doing and what safe food handling involves.
I love the market, and the variety of personalities there: the serious Fish People, the grumpy Chicken Man, the happy Meat Guy, the helpful Veggie Women, knowledgeable Mister Cheese and the snotty Bread Guy who sniffs at you if you’re just there to buy a baguette — as if he had something better to do than sell you one.
Me, I don’t care if any of them wear gloves. But if they’re going to, I want them to be clean gloves.