I recently watched the MasterChef Singapore series and was surprised to see some contestants wearing bracelets, rings, and even having long, painted nails! I’ve also noticed that famous chefs on TV and YouTube often wear big, fancy jewellery like large, should dusting earrings and rings with stones while they cook. Additionally, I’ve seen many male chefs wearing special bracelets for health or string talismans for religious reasons.
In certain countries, kitchen staff aren’t allowed to wear any kind of jewellery or piercings, and some kitchens don’t even permit wedding bands! If you do wear a wedding ring, they’ll ask you to wear a glove. For those with medical alert bracelets, these strict hygiene places will request you to tape the bracelet while working. Personally, I’m accustomed to wearing a nose stud, but once when I went to a prestigious hotel to cook for an event, I was instructed to cover it with a small piece of tape. Many hotels in Singapore strictly adhere to the no jewellery rules in kitchen, which I appreciate.
However, in many other places, you still see chefs and kitchen staff wearing whatever jewellery they please. What chefs choose to wear while cooking is a personal decision, and it doesn’t necessarily reflect their culinary skills or professionalism. As long as they follow hygiene and safety protocols, it’s up to them how they want to present themselves in the kitchen.
But have you ever considered how much dirt and germs your everyday rings, bracelets, bangles, charms, or other jewellery might harbour? A scientist friend of mine mentioned that if you examine your jewellery closely with a microscope, particularly rings, bracelets, and string talismans, you might be surprised by the dirt and bacteria you discover.
The thing is, you can’t effectively wash your hands if you’re wearing rings. Your jewellery can transfer disease-carrying germs to the food you handle while cooking. Food particles, like dough or minced meat, can get trapped in the hidden corners and curves of the jewellery, which can lead to bacterial growth or even the release of toxins into the food you’re preparing.