Latex Allergy Info

Common Misconceptions About Latex in Restaurants


Many restaurants through the United States use Latex gloves to prep their food. There are several reasons for this. First, they don't know the law on handling food in restaurants. The law in most states says that ready-to-eat foods cannot be handled with bare hands. However, most chefs and restaurant management think that the law says that gloves have to be used for food handling. Another reason is most restaurants don't know the difference between latex gloves and other types of gloves. Most people think that Latex gloves are the same as Vinyl gloves, Poly gloves, Nitrile gloves or any other type of glove. The truth is, Latex gloves are only supposed to be used in the medical field when handling blood borne pathogens. When used in a restaurant setting the Latex proteins break down quicker because of their exposure to water and heat. If restaurant managers knew the difference between the different types of gloves, they would know that Latex gloves are not the best choice for that type of usage. By using Latex in their restaurant, they put their employees and patrons at risk. Employees who become allergic to latex may also file for workers comp which can cost the company more money and even progress to lawsuits. Latex gloves are more expensive than Vinyl or Plastic gloves. Latex gloves have been linked to fires. When certain conditions are reached, some properties in the gloves have been known to cause combustion (Article 1, Article 2, Article 3: middle of the page).

 

Facts About Latex in Restaurants


  • Latex proteins are transferred to almost any surface that is contacted by natural rubber latex gloves.1,2

  • Moisture on the contact surface will enhance the transfer for Latex proteins to that surface.1,2

Based on these facts above that were published in the sited medical journal, the Latex proteins can be distributed throughout a kitchen without the knowledge of the staff or management. Therefore, it becomes evident that this Natural Rubber Latex Allergen can easily contaminate an entire kitchen. Foods that come in contact with surfaces previously touched by Latex gloves become contaminated as well.

 

1. Beezhold DH, Kostyal DA, Wiseman JS. The transfer of protein allergens from latex gloves. A study of influencing factors. AORN 59:605-614, 1994
2. Beezhold D, Reschke J, Allen J, Kostyal D, Sussman G. Latex protein: A hidden food allergen? Allergy Asthma Proceedings 21:301-306, 2000.
 

What the FDA Food Handling Code Says About Glove Use


A common misconception about food handling in restaurants is that Latex gloves are required when handling all foods. In reality, the FDA's Food Handling Code does not require that gloves be used. It simply offers gloves as an option to prevent cross-contamination in read-to-eat foods. Other options for these situations include tissue, spatulas, tongs, or dispensing equipment. The FDA is perfectly fine with using bare hands in situations where ready-to-eat foods are not involved; as long as proper hand washing procedures are followed. Additionally, where the code mentions gloves as a possible option for handling food, it does not specify a type of glove. Therefore, those who restaurateurs who say that Latex gloves are required by the food handling code are misinformed.

 

Proper Glove Use in the Restaurant Food Handling


Many restaurateurs are unclear about what the Food Code really says about proper glove use. If you read the references mentioned to the right, nowhere does the code REQUIRE that gloves be used and nowhere does it REQUIRE any specific glove type. To read the FDA Food Code yourself, refer to the key links below.

 
Click Here
to view all the references to glove use made in the 2009 FDA Food Code.

How to Check if a Restaurant is Safe


If you are allergic to Latex and are going to eat at a restaurant, the best thing to do is to have them show you the box of gloves that they use. You cannot trust most people when you just ask because most people associate Latex with every type of glove. If Latex is used in that restaurant, DO NOT EAT THERE! Latex gloves are made out of a tree sap and the Latex proteins are very sticky like that tree sap. The latex particles not only stick to food, but also countertops, utensils, dishes, pots, pans, and any other surface they make contact with. If they have Latex in their kitchen anywhere, consider it contaminated. It will often take several cleanings to sterilize the kitchen of all the Latex particles. If they offer to try to make food without Latex, DON'T LET THEM TRY! They most likely don't know enough about it to keep your food from touching it and you will still get a reaction if you are allergic. Let them know that if they want to help, they can switch away from Latex gloves and use Vinyl or Plastic gloves.

 

Important: If you find a restaurant that does not use Latex gloves to prep their food, you still may want to be weary of the bread, salad and deserts. Many restaurants purchase their bread from other bakeries who may use Latex gloves. To prevent reactions, it is best to avoid any bread you find in restaurants unless the latex free restaurant makes their own bread. Some restaurants also purchase pre-made salad. That means the salad was cut and tossed in some place other than that restaurant. If they buy  whole heads of lettuce and cut it themselves, for example, the salad will usually be fine.

 

Report a Restaurant and Make Them Change


Are you allergic to Latex and get reactions whenever you eat at a restaurant? Do you want to do your part in making the entire foodservice industry Latex Free so that you can eat without fear? Download and print out copies of the Latex Warning to the right and issue them to any restaurant you find using Latex when preparing their food. Use the "How to Check if a restaurant is Safe" section above to see what types of gloves they use and issue a citation. Once the citation is issued, contact us to have them added to the "Contaminated Restaurants" list. Plus, it will be fun to make a difference and to see the looks on their faces! You don't have to be allergic to join in on the movement. Download the warning and start the hunt for Latex gloves in restaurants.

 

Latex Free Areas


There are currently four main areas that have banned the use of Latex gloves in their foodservice industries. Anyone allergic or sensitive to latex should be safe at almost any restaurant in these states. These areas are:

 

Arizona   Oregon   Boston   Rhode Island

 

Any restaurant, establishment or company found using Latex gloves during their food preparation will be fined by the local health department. Why are these the only area? Ask your state's Department of Health to find out why. Obviously, there is a good reason if three states banned them completely. Why haven't the others followed their examples?

 

Some Latex Free Restaurants


NATIONWIDE:

Maggiano's Little Italy

Macaroni Grill

Chili's

Outback Steakhouse

Bonefish Grill

Carrabba's

Steak & Ale

Moe's

Chic-Fil-A

Chipotle

Subway

Steak & Shake

McDonald's

Burger King

Taco Bell

Publix Deli's

Hillstone

Houston's

Gulfstream

Bandera

Palm Beach Grill

Cherry Creek Grill

Los Altos Grill

On the Border

Corner Bakery Cafe

Safeway Deli's

Wendy's

Panera Bread

Buca De Beppo

In-N-Out Burger

CHICAGO, IL:

Big Bowl - Chicago

Signature Room

Giordano's

Tampa, FL:

The Tampa Club

The Centre Club

Fresh

Moxie's

Napa Valley, CA:

Rutherford Grill

Don Giovanni's

Gott's Roadside

Culinary Institute fo America

New York, NY:

Citi Feild

Yankee Stadium

Wildwood

Primehouse

Ocean Grill

Kibo

Dos Caminos

Blue Water Grill

Blue Fin

Bill's Bar & Burger

BR Guest Restaurants

Strip House

Atlantic Grill

Lilli and Loos Asian Cuisine & Sushi

Josie's Restaurant

Pala Pizza

Bistango Ristorante

Pax

Metro Cafe

Ruthy Foos

Grotta Azzurra

New Jersey

Honan Chinese Food

Caengdu Chinese Food

Gotham City Diner

Louisville, KY:

Red Star Tavern

Cumberland Brews -  Microbrewery & Restaurant

 

 

 

Contaminated Restaurants


NATIONWIDE:

All Disney Properties

Ri Ra Irish Pub

deSha's

Nicholson's Tavern & Pub

The Polo Grille

Ri Ra Irish Pub

Eddie Merlot's

The Pub

Cheesecake Factory

Most Marriott Restaurants

Most Hard Rock Restaurants

Most Hilton Restaurants

Most Hyatt Restaurants

Most Ritz Carlton Restaurants

Morton's Steakhouse

Ruby Tuesday

Village Inn

Denny's

Perkin's

Rainforest Cafe

Joe's Crab Shack

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company

Johnny Rocket's

Pensacola, FL:

Pensacola, FL

New York, NY:

The Plaza Hotel !

The Palace Hotel

Sardi's

Carmine's

El Sombrero

Koi

CHICAGO, IL:

Carmine's

Tavern on Rush

TAMPA, FL:

Rolling Oats Market

Stacked Burgers

Square One Burger

Gallery Bistro

Mangrove's

Malio's Steakhouse

Cappacino on the Go

Las Vegas Sports Bar

Grillsmith

Burn's Steakhouse

Jackson's Bistro

Algusto's Mexican Restaurant

Estella's

Hattrick's Sports Bar

Valencia Gardens

Caprice Bistro

717 South

Kalupa's Bakery

Napa Valley, CA:

Mustards

Silverado Brewing Co.

Brix

Red Hen Cantina

Most other restaurants in the Napa Valley area

San Francisco, CA:

Ghirardelli Chocolates

Teirnan's

Destin, FL:

Crab Trap

Harry T's

   
   
 
! Denotes that the Establishment was rude when approached

Restaurant List Updates: The restaurant information above was updated on May 21, 2012. If you would like to get your restaurant added to the Latex Free list, contact us at 813-810-0106. If you have been deemed a Latex-Free restaurant, random checks will be done to verify your adherence.

 

Disclaimer: The list above is kept as up-to-date as possible. However, some larger chain restaurant locations may not be in adherence to the corporate standards of that company. It is always best to check before eating to prevent any reactions. The purpose of the list above is not to slander any company or establishment. The purpose is of the list is to inform those who are allergic to Latex where they can eat without having to worry about a reaction. LatexAllergyInfo.com takes no responsibility for any consequences that result from this list. To be safe, please follow the guidelines above to check each restaurant before eating.

 

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