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Sushi chefs burdened by glove requirementUPDATED 10:33 PM HST Jul 27, 2014Video Transcript
The states new restaurant rating program is helping to keep our eateries on their TOES... But Sushi chefs say it's their HANDS that are caught holding the burden. KITV4's Brenton Awa has the story- all new at ten. 19-22 106 Torae Torae in Mo'ili'ili's been serving up sushi for six months. Since opening -- its been trying to ROLL pass the growing pains of doing business. There's been progress but now -- employees say -- they can't get their hands free from yet another restraint. That's latex gloves. 2516 "IT'S VERY DIFFICULT AS A SUSHI CHEF BECAUSE BEING ABLE TO FEEL THE TEXTURE OF THE FISH, THE PRODUCT, THE VEGETABLES IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT." How important? 2527 - 2539 "SOMETIMES I MIGHT CATCH A BONE. WITH THE GLOVE IT'S LIKE AN EXTRA LAYER OF SKIN SO I CAN'T REALLY FEEL THE TEXTURE OF THE PRODUCT." Under the states new "placard" program -- workers that handle prepared food have to use gloves. That doesn't sit well with Japanese tradition. Where bare hands are barely noticed by safety officials. It's the norm. 2917 "IF IT WAS TO HAPPEN IN JAPAN... ...THERE WOULD BE A LOT OF ANGRY CHEFS." Customers we spoke with say some of the states new rules shouldn't apply to some sushi restaurants. 4100 "I THINK SUSHI JOINTS SHOULD BE AN EXCEPTION BECAUSE I GO TO JAPAN ALL THE TIME AND I EAT SUSHI AND THEY'RE BARE HAND PREPARING THE SUSHI AND IT'S FINE. IF IT'S FINE THERE, AS LONG AS THEY'RE WASHING THEIR HANDS, I'M FINE WITH THAT." Workers at Torae Torae say they'd like to see the new "glove" rule taken off their hands for good. 2642 "ESPECIALLY WITH SUSHI WE HAVE TO KEEP VERY CLEAN AND WASH THE RAG, WASH OUR HANDS, I THINK IT'S THE SAME THING WITH THE GLOVE." We talked with two other sushi chefs at different locations today... One of those businesses said they applied for an exemption through the health department that would allow its chefs to continue to use their bare hands while handling food. But the other business we spoke with said that exemption takes a lot of documentation and is almost not worth the time. Like Torae Torae -- that business wants the new rule to change completely.