Barehand contact license for Sushi establishments in New York City
My name is David Bouhadana, head chef of Sushi Dojo in NYC. On October 22nd, Sushi Dojo was closed by the Department Of Health as a result of not wearing plastic gloves while preparing "ready to eat food" that is served raw, which is the only way sushi is served traditionally in Japan.
It has been scientifically proven in Japan that the use of plastic gloves leads to higher instances of contamination and foodborne illnesses, due to the fact that food handlers become lazy about changing their gloves after gloves have become contaminated.
Forcing restaurants to always wear plastic gloves leads to unnecessary increased costs through additional purchases and slower service. A similar plastic glove law was repealed in California by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014 (link - http://www.latimes.com/local/politics/la-me-glove-law-20140627-story.html) as it was proven that washing hands is just as effective at fighting foodborne illnesses as wearing plastic gloves. Making plastic gloves mandatory arbitrarily increases costs for both a restaurant and creates unnecessary environmental damage by discarding millions of plastic gloves annually.
Bare hand contact is essential for preparing and preserving sushi based on traditional techniques. Traditional Japanese cuisine, celebrated for its centuries-old cooking techniques and seasonal ingredients, has been added to the United Nation's cultural heritage list (UNESCO) in 2013.
I am writing this petition to raise awareness on the issue, balance the concerns of the DOH, while allowing sushi restaurants to follow century old Japanese traditions.
I am proposing an alternative option which is to inform consumers that a restaurant has decided to prepare food with bare hands and allow the consumer to make his or her own educated decision. We have all seen the consumer advisory footnote at the bottom of restaurant menus, "Consuming raw or uncooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, eggs or unpasteurized milk may increase your risk of foodborne illness.” And we propose the following footnote; "This is a bare hand contact establishment and consuming raw or undercooked seafood, shellfish and eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness". Additional signage will be required to be posted at the front entrance of the restaurant clearly stating that we are a barehand contact restaurant.
Please sign the petition!
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