QUESTION

Do all food handlers need to wear latex gloves? I’ve noticed at Burger King and McDonald’s they don’t wear gloves.

ANSWER

Response from Ken Pastorick, public information officer, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Bureau of Media and Communications:

“Louisiana law says food service employees shall thoroughly wash their hands and exposed portions of their arms with soap and warm water before starting work, during work as often as necessary to keep them clean, and after smoking, using tobacco, eating, drinking, coughing, sneezing, handling raw food, using the restroom. Bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods is also minimized through the use of tongs, spoons, scoops and mechanical dispensing devices. If gloves are worn, they must be changed frequently, so as not to cross-contaminate food sources. The law does not require the use of gloves. These methods have proven to be effective in preventing food borne illness and protecting health.”

Smoking in public

QUESTION

Is smoking allowed in establishments where food is served? What’s the rule on the outdoor patios?

ANSWER

Response from Donna Kingsmill of the East Baton Rouge Parish Attorney’s Office:

“Under state law (2006 Louisiana RS 40:1300.256), smoking inside restaurants is prohibited, but the law does not apply to patios or outdoor spaces, regardless of whether food is served.

• Send questions to Ask The Advocate, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0588; or fax to Ask The Advocate, (225) 388-0297; or email asktheadvocate@theadvocate.com.