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Keep jewelry away from your food: Why is jewelry inappropriate to wear in the kitchen

Did you know wearing jewelry in the kitchen is actually very unhygienic and inappropriate? If you didn’t know this already, by the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll know all about it.

Jewelry is inappropriate to wear in the kitchen for a multitude of reasons. Foremost, the heat and food items could damage your jewelry. Secondly, it’s very unhygienic. Moreover, your jewelry might break and fall into food items.

In this article, you’ll get to know all about wearing jewelry in the kitchen, why is jewelry inappropriate to wear in the kitchen, what jewelry can you wear in the kitchen, and more? Continue reading to get all the answers.

Do not wear jewelry in the kitchen

Have you ever thought about how much germs and dirt your jewelry holds? If you inspect your rings, bracelets, and other jewelry under a microscope, you’ll be appalled to see their condition. Once these germs get transferred from your jewelry to your utensils or food, they’ll make it extremely unhygienic and unhealthy. This is why it is recommended that you shouldn’t wear jewelry when in the kitchen. Food workers across the globe also have strict instructions regarding wearing jewelry. This is the case so that they can ensure the food has been prepared under the most hygienic conditions.

There are many justifications as to why the jewelry shouldn’t be worn in the kitchen. Here are some of them –

  • You won’t be able to wash your hands as effectively if you’re wearing rings on your fingers.
  • Touching jewelry worn on noses, ears, tongues, and other facial areas could mean you come in contact with bodily fluids. These fluids might harbor plenty of germs and bacteria.
  • Jewelry might accidentally drop into the food, and it’ll cause a contamination issue.
  • There will be an increased risk of personal injuries if the jewelry has been caught by equipment or machinery.

Why is jewelry inappropriate to wear in the kitchen?

From a household cooking perspective, wearing jewelry like chains, rings, and bracelets poses many risks. The risk isn’t just to the people eating the food, but also to the jewelry itself. This is why it would be best to remove all jewelry before you start cooking food. Some reasons why jewelry is inappropriate to wear in the kitchen are –

Jewelry fragments might fall into the food

Many chunky earrings, bracelets, chains, and rings can have beads, stones, or other parts. They might not always be strongly connected and break off, dropping into the food items. If something gets into the food, not only will your jewelry be damaged, but there will be a risk of choking.

why is jewelry inappropriate to wear in the kitchen - person cooking

Risk of toxin build-up

In case you’ve got a habit of cooking while wearing jewelry, there’s a risk of food sticking into the jewelry. These food particles might get into the hidden corners and creeks. This builds up over time, leading to not just bacterial growth, but also toxin release. Eventually, food particles may even find their way into your food. This is often a neglected but a big risk for people wearing jewelry in the kitchen.

Risk of damage to the jewelry

When you’re in the kitchen, you’re working with hard, pointy objects like knives, peelers, and more. These objects can easily chip or scratch the soft parts of your jewelry. Moreover, the vapors and steam generated in the kitchen may condense on your jewelry. Your jewelry might even suffer from potential long-term damage.

When it comes to the perspective of commercial kitchens, avoiding jewelry is even more important. Numerous restaurants, food preparation services, hotels, and commercial kitchens work relentlessly for ensuring that they offer high-quality services. An important safety standard for people working in commercial kitchens is preparing safe and hygienic food. This is why commercial kitchens in many countries have strict policies regarding wearing jewelry in the kitchen. Depending on where the commercial kitchen is established, there will be statutory provisions making jewelry inappropriate in the kitchen. Every business owner or cook must go through the local food safety regulations. In fact, according to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), if a food business wishes to serve a third party, it needs to implement a no-jewelry policy.

Can you wear nose piercings while cooking?

Many hotels and restaurants have policies about wearing nose rings in the kitchen. In general terms, most food companies ask their workers to remove visible piercings including nose rings, lip piercing, and earrings. The reason is that although your piercings might be attached to your body, they can still potentially contaminate the food. They will create unhygienic working conditions while posing a significant health risk to the ones eating the food.

Fix this issue by taping the nose piercings away. If you happen to have your nose or any facial part pierced and are intending to work in the kitchen, you should tape up the piercing nicely. Taping properly will help you ensure that the piercing isn’t coming in contact with the food. Moreover, the taping will also prevent the piercing from touching the steam or fumes of the kitchen. While many commercial kitchens might not allow it, it’ll definitely be something, you can try in domestic kitchens.

Should you wear wedding rings while cooking?

Even if you’re wearing a plain wedding ring while working or a diamond ring in a home kitchen, it is advisable to remove them before working. You shouldn’t knead or make the dishes with your bare hands. There have been several studies conducted to measure the amount of bacterial growth on watches, bracelets, and rings. Worn rings were found to contain an abundance of bacteria and germs like Fungal Species, Black Mold, and more. All of them are potent enough to easily contaminate your food. Additionally, there is also an added risk of choking in case the ring or fragments of the ring break and accidentally drop into your food. Therefore, it would be a smart idea to remove the wedding ring before you start cooking. Additionally, wearing rings when cooking isn’t suitable for your jewelry either. The ring’s metal may react with the chemicals and fumes and corrode. Moreover, the heat will have long-term damage to your jewelry over time.

why is jewelry inappropriate to wear in the kitchen - woman removing ring jewelry

What should you avoid doing in the kitchen if you’re wearing jewelry?

Wearing jewelry in the kitchen is something that you must avoid as much as possible. This is the case because it harbors bacteria and other germs that spread into your food items. However, if you’ve worn jewelry in the kitchen, there are certain things that you must avoid doing.

  • Frequently touching the jewelry – Touching your jewelry repeatedly when preparing meals or handling them can easily imperil food safety. In fact, by touching the jewelry too much, it might get loosened. It’ll then have a higher probability of falling into the food items.
  • Kneading the dough – When you’re working in the kitchen, you must never knead the dough with the ring still on your finger. This will not only infect your food, but the ring might also corrode and damage the jewelry.
  • Mixing with your hands – Mixing sauces or vegetables with rings or bracelets still on your hands would deteriorate the jewelry. Moreover, it might contaminate the edibles that you’re trying to mix.
  • Working with vapors and fumes – Vapors and fumes are unavoidable aspects of any kitchen. It’s hard to keep away from them while you’re working in a kitchen. However, the fumes are more than just vaporized water or steam. Fumes can easily lead to deposits and form layers of dirt on your jewelry.

What type of jewelry is normally accepted in a kitchen environment?

According to the Food and Drug Administration, it’s advised that you can only wear plain wedding bands in a kitchen. It is as important for a house chef as it is for a professional food handler. Moreover, if you’re meticulous, you could wear any jewelry you want in a home kitchen. But it isn’t normally recommended as there are always risks involved. Every hotel or restaurant kitchen prohibits its workers from wearing these items –

  • Bracelets
  • Metallic rings, except for the plain wedding bands
  • Earrings
  • Any artificial jewelry 
  • Body piercing on ears, nose, lips, and chin
  • Hair accessories like metallic hairpins
why is jewelry inappropriate to wear in the kitchen - woman removing earrings to prepare food in kitchen

How to work your way around wearing jewelry in the kitchen?

The primary reason why these jewelry items have been prohibited is that they contaminate the food items. It furthers the risk of choking if accidentally dropped into the food. There are certain other rules and regulations that help in getting away with wearing jewelry in the kitchen.

Composition and type of jewelry

When it comes to metals that are acceptable in the kitchen, copper, silver, and bronze are the safest jewelry options. They aren’t reactive or catalyzed by the elements exposed in any general kitchen.

Stay away from wearing stones

When talking about stones like diamonds, gemstones, or sapphires, it’s a strict no-no in the kitchen. This is the case because not only would they be at risk of toxic exposure, they might even find their way into the food items. This could lead to choking or swallowing risks. If you want to wear rings, they shouldn’t have any gems or stones protruding out of them.

Wear gloves over the rings

Although not a requirement, a commonly followed rule among kitchen workers and households is to wear cooking gloves over rings. By wearing gloves over rings, the exposure to the food and the possibility of the ring falling into the food becomes zero. Moreover, the ring will not have side effects because of steam and favor.

Sanitize and clean your jewelry before you start cooking

Lastly, if you’re wearing rings and bracelets in the kitchen, you need to ensure that you disinfect and sanitize them properly. It is necessary to do this before you start cooking. For disinfecting the jewelry, you should dip your jewelry in a glass of warm water with soap or a cleanser mixed. Then, use a toothbrush for cleaning it, and be ready to dry it and wear it before you go into the kitchen.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about wearing jewelry in the kitchen, why is jewelry inappropriate to wear in the kitchen, what jewelry items are acceptable in the kitchen, and a lot more. Professional and commercial kitchens around the world are very strict when it comes to wearing jewelry in the kitchen. This is for a good reason. It is something that should apply to home kitchens as well. There are many pitfalls of wearing jewelry and cooking food in a kitchen. Due to steam and fumes, not only will the jewelry develop a layer of toxins and food particles, but it may even break and fall into your food. If you still plan on going ahead and wearing jewelry in the kitchen, you should be very minimalistic. You should prefer sticking to simple, plain rings or wedding bands without any chunky parts or stones protruding from them. Moreover, you must take the needed precautions to cover up the jewelry with tapes such that the exposure to the food becomes minimal.

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