Does anyone make pizza with gloves? I've developed a contact allergy to pizza

After 10 years of pizza making and 1.5 years of owning my own store, I’ve unfortunately developed a condition known as “pizza makers’ contact dermatitis” ( It’s basically a contact allergy to something in flour (I’m waiting for an appointment to determine which ingredient), it makes my hands look like this: .

I’ve started wearing gloves while making pizzas, which has turned out to be incredibly difficult; I’ve tried vinyl and nitrile so far. Does anyone else have any experience with gloved pizza making? Have you ever heard of anyone with this condition?

I have everyone in my place as well as me making pizzas with gloves. I actually have them where gloves for everything even rolling dough. It takes sometime getting used to and you’ll never have the feel for the dough that you would have bare hand but its the way I wanted it done. We use vinyl non powdered gloves, little hard to put on with wet hands. The powdered ones go on a lot easier but leave a white residue when removed.

And what is the purpose of wearing gloves for everything? Especially non RTE (Ready To Eat) foods…
The reason I ask is that I see so much misuse/abuse of food handler gloves, I believe it is creating a major cross contamination/sanitation issue because it seems nobody uses them properly.
The most disgusting thing I have seen to date was a guy walking a mop bucket through a kitchen while wearing gloves, then a manager asking if he is done cleaning the restrooms, the employee answered to the affirmative, so the manager said “Okay, you’ve got any order up” so this guy walks to the line, and starts putting together an order wearing these same gloves he had on while cleaning the restrooms! (YUCK!)
I have seen female kitchen help go to the restroom while wearing gloves, and come back out and go to work with food still wearing the same darn gloves! What part of their anatomy do you think they contacted with those gloves before your food was handled with them?
Most people use them like they are a barrier for themselves, not a barrier for them to minimize hand contact with RTE foods.

Cooks grabbing raw meat with a gloved hand, then using that same gloved hand to place lettuce into a bowl, the abuses I see are endless.
My guys are properly trained in glove use, When protocol calls for glove use, we glove one hand, and that is used for RTE’s only, they know not to touch door handles, raw meat, scratch themselves, or go to the restroom and come back with gloves on.
My stance is that glove use by most people creates a larger sanitation issue than not using gloves

This is a problem in the restaurant business that I can’t quite figure out the solution to. Washed bare hands are the safest form of food handling. Our health department prefers this method over gloves. The public perception is that gloves are more sanitary. So what is the answer? Make the public feel more safe by wearing gloves, or actually make them safer by not wearing gloves? In California last year they passed a law that required glove use and it was supposed to take effect here in a couple of months, but it got repealed. What happened was the the bar industry threw a big stink about the bar tenders having to wear gloves and booze lobbyist were able to pay off the legislators to get it off the books.
We do not require glove use although we do have them and many of our people use them. I’m thinking as we move forward we are going to have to require them and set up some kind of system to assure they are changed out at the proper times.

Hopefully people that have more experience than I can weigh in on this subject.


Our glove policy is if you have cuts, sores, or scabs on your hands or are wearing nail polish you must wear gloves while handling food or food containers. If you touch anything you would not eat from wash your hands and change your gloves.

Do you already use cornmeal as dusting flour?

I’ve had a similar case of contact dermatitis for 30 years, but in my case I am allergic to citric. (Pineapple, Tomatoes, tomato sauce, Mt. Dew, etc, etc.) Only on one hand, tho. So, yeah, I’ve had to wear a rubber glove for years whenever I’m at work. (Not the vinyl kind). I’ve recently discovered that topical application of ginseng drops will let the rash/blisters heal within days - It won’t prevent the initial reaction, but it’s not too bad if it will heal right away.

My employees are also trained in proper glove use and hand washing. The purpose of gloves for everything in my place is that ingredients get shared from one prep table to the other so if the fresh mozzarella from the pizza table is grabbed by an employee not wearing gloves it won’t matter if the employee from the sub table is wearing gloves or not. In the examples you gave above it seems like the manager was not properly trained or just didn’t care. You also mentioned that your guys glove one hand. What do they do with the other hand?

We are a “glove use required area” for all RTE’s, but a health department variance is easily obtained with a written hand sanitation procedure in place.

We use gloves when needed, I prefer the black nitrile gloves, because typical translucent food handler gloves look like a used condom to me.

One hand is gloved and used only for RTE items, (rolls, bread, etc.) the hand without a glove is for opening cooler doors, grabbing utensils, knives & such
If they grab a door handle with a gloved hand, that means it was a “Change of task” so the glove comes off, hands get washed, and a fresh glove is used.

Building a pizza is not something I’d ever consider glove use for, because it is not an RTE item, it gets baked after being built.

Now handling cooked slices or whole pies, that would warrant glove use according to most regulations if utensils cannot be properly used
I bet if I were to observe your employees, who are gloved at all times, I’d see them touching all sorts of stuff with their gloved hands that would require removal, a wash, & new gloves, but thats probably not happening, because the gloves give them a false sense of security and lessened tactile sensation.
Do they handle raw sausage with gloves? then what? use those same gloves for what?? Do you see where I am going with this. I bet if you stood back and watched your crew, you’d find multiple infractions per minute of improper glove use.
I say that glove usage has created more problems than they were supposed to fix. And there are studies to show that.

Heres a typical scenario; (I underlined the cross contamination points)
Gloved Employee grabs a raw chicken breast from the cooler, (cooler door or handle) flops it on the broiler, then that employee grabs a roll, butters it and flops it on the flat top, then he gets the lettuce and other garni on the plate, then he grabs a tongs to flip the chicken breast, all without changing gloves, the employee does not feel the slime from the chicken breast on his hands due to reduced tactile sensation, so it does not occur to them that they just cross contaminated every thing else they touched, including utensils, not another gloved employee grabs the same tongs with raw chicken slime on it, and everything they touch after that is now contaminated, did glove use stop this from happening? No, I say it encouraged or enabled it.
Too many people use gloves like they are for their own personal protection, not the protection of the customer by minimizing cross contamination.

One of the biggest problems with wearing gloves is that the people wearing them seem to think that the purpose of the gloves is to protect them from the food, while the exact opposite is true. Even when wearing gloves the hands should be washed and sanitized. You can get your hands MUCH more sanitary through washing and sanitizing when wearing gloves than you can without the gloves. If you have ANY type of sore on your hands gloves are mandatory. Infected cuticles are responsible for more staph infections than most people realize.
In short, unless an infection is present, gloves serve no benefit unless your employees are properly trained in their use.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I use rice flour as dusting flour. However, I tried using cornmeal a couple of weeks ago with bare hands to see if I would react, and I did. I’m not sure if the allergen is in the cornmeal as well or if I reacted to the flour in the dough itself, I’ll know next month after testing.

Dang! Do let us know when you find out. The old champion fastest pizza maker Brian Edler was allergic to flour so he worked at Domino’s since they dusted with cornmeal. Whenever he would compete he would break out, but he won several gold medals! He’s such a good sport.

OK, how do you educate that 1 customer who comes into your shop, orders a pizza, you ring him up, cash him out, make his pizza, and bring his food to him, and then THINKS, the are know it alls, and start to preach to you about how nasty you just was by your actions & that they are calling the health department???

I actually just had this happen to me. I have a brace on my hand due to a bone spur so after taking his order, and cashing him out, I came back & put gloves on, because I have to when I have my brace on, made his pizza, walked around the shop doing a couple things, took his pizza out of the oven, cut it, bagged it and he literally ripped my head off, all the while he did not realize I was wearing gloves, so I just let him walk out because he had me soooo irritated I wanted to rip his head off, I tried to explain to him that pizza is NOT a RTE food and that I did have gloves on but I was way to far pissed at this point

Pretty amazing that our species survived and evolved and thrived for four million years before gloves were invented.

Maybe he did realize that you were wearing gloves, and got upset because you were handling other things while wearing these “Food Handlers Gloves” while doing work not directly related to food, and then handling his food with these same gloves?

I see fast food workers wearing gloves handling money at the register, then go watch them go handle RTE food with the same gloves that they just handled money with. And I have a problem with that, and I am not an opponent of glove usage, because they are abused and used in the wrong manner by many just as Mr. Lehmann has highlighted.

Sorry Mike: did not mean to take away from your original post hope you find something that works for you

No. he absolutely stated that I didnt have gloves on, he failed to see, besides I have a counter top my prep table sits behind, so he would not have been able to see my hands. I was not handling any thing else in the kitchen, I was just walking around looking at my inventory b4 my supplier called. And besides I had taken off the gloves after about 5 minutes later after his pizza was in the oven.

Just looking for a way to educate that 1 customer who comes in and throws a fit because they see me or my workers making pizzas without gloves

I have already spoken to my health dept official around 6 yrs ago about gloves, and they stated that we are not required to wear gloves for pizza making.

It looks like you just got a customer who enjoyed complaining about things, and that blows.
I would watch review sites to see if he goes full retard, and be prepared to reply to his rants in a professional manner.
There is a current thread about Urban Spoon, and a PMQ member provided a very gracious example reply towards a bunghole customer, I copied it in case I ever need to post a reply on one of those sites.

I wear gloves all the time. Latex gloves


On the original topic:[/size][/B]

The dirty little secret that the big multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporations don’t want you to know is that these types of skin allergies, gluten sensitivities and grain allergies were all but non-existent before they started genetically modifying these cereal grains.

To my knowledge, these sensitivities have been linked to a particular gliadin-9 protein that does not occur naturally, and did not exist in wheat prior to 1959. Now it is in almost all commercial wheat. The increase in prevalence of food allergies and sensitivities tracks directly with the increase of these genetically modified crops.

It’s also worth noting that corn is probably the single most prominent genetically modified food. You had mentioned that you had the same issues with corn meal.

A good, reputable organic flour will not be GMO. You might want to give it a shot. I know people who can’t use regular flour, but have no problems at all with (non-GMO) organic flour. This includes both contact and dietary issues.

Organic flour is more expensive, but it’s also a good selling point, and has a bit of a “halo effect” on the perceived quality of your ingredients. If you switch to organic flour, advertise it!

[size=5]On the glove issue:[/size]

Back in the 1990’s, when the health department was under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture, we had to take a series of classes in order to get the food safety certification. It wasn’t like the serv-safe certification where you just go in and take the test.

One of the rants that they went on was that gloves should not be used in a food service establishment unless the person has an open wound. They even went so far as to show a film that had a bunch of scenes spliced together of food service workers coming out of restrooms with their gloves still on, taking out the garbage with their gloves on, scratching their heads, they actually had a shot of someone scratching their ass with their gloves on, which was artistically portrayed in slow motion. They showed people handling money, emptying mop buckets, and so on. It was quite a montage.

Their position was that gloves were ineffective in preventing contamination, and furthermore that they actually hinder hand washing, which is effective in preventing contamination. The USDA had done extensive testing and determined that gloves got in the way of preventing food bourne illness, and should not be used. They spent a good 45 minutes or an hour on this single issue in one of the classes. It was something they felt very strongly about.

They were very upset at the time because a national sandwich chain had started using gloves because they often only had one employee on the clock, who would both cash out the order and make the food.

Their fear was that they would create a public perception that gloves were somehow more sanitary, when they are most definitely not.

Their fear was well founded.

The thing that angers me the most is that the health departments have largely caved to public perception, and now require food workers to do something that they know full well is less safe rather than to take the time to educate the people who call and complain that someone was not wearing gloves. I resent it. I feel like we’ve been sold out.


my daughter has talked to me about GMO foods and i didn’t pay too much attention, until i just read OSV’s post, THANK YOU ! I’ve struggled with gluten digestive issues, and like everyone here i am surrounded by flour every day, i can’t wait to talk to my suppliers for availability of Organic flours and prices ,do you use organic non GMO flour in your shop ?