No Gloves, No Sushi? NYC DOH Says Yes.

Some of the top sushi restaurants are pushing back against health inspectors who require prepared food to be handled with gloves. Sushi Dojo and its sibling, Sushi Dojo Express, were threatened with closure by the New York City Department of Health after they were found to be handling sushi without wearing gloves. Sushi Dojo was closed temporarily after being cited for this infraction six times. The chefs and owners feel like they are being discriminated against because traditional sushi preparation requires hand contact with the finished product to feel the consistency of the rice and fish. Using latex gloves doesn’t allow sushi chefs to feel what they are doing. “Sushi is being ruined [by] gloves, freezing fish and more issues,” says owner and chef David Bouhadana.

What’s interesting about this issue is that Bouhadana has admitted that when health inspectors come in he makes his employees wear gloves but otherwise tells them that they don’t have to. It’s a tricky situation since the chefs and the owner are just trying to adhere to traditional Japanese practices and the DOH is just trying to make sure that customers are safe. Should Japanese restaurants be given a pass or have looser rules on wearing gloves? Read more.