Can A Food Handler Taste Food to Adjust Seasoning?

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By: Tom Valenti


A food handler is a key entity in the food business, but not many people understand their roles and duties. For this reason, we will answer the question ‘’can a food handler taste food to adjust seasoning?’ and give you an outline of their roles and duties.

The short answer is yes. A food handler can taste food to adjust seasoning. It is, however, important to note that the role of a food handler in tasting food to adjust seasoning may vary from one restaurant/food organization to another.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Food Handler

Before exploring the duties and responsibilities of a food handler, it’s important to understand what this term means.

A food handler is anyone who interacts closely with food in a restaurant or food industry. This could be cooks, servers, parkers, bartenders, and everyone handling cutlery or anything that comes into contact with food.

So, since we understand that food handlers have varying roles in food organizations, let’s explore the roles and responsibilities of food handlers according to their business.

  • A food handler can make food, which includes processing, manufacturing, treating, producing, extracting, displaying, collecting, storing, thawing, packing, delivering, preserving, or serving.
  • Food handlers can be in charge of cooking. This role calls for a food handler to be able to taste and adjust seasonings for the food they are assigned. In this case, the handler must handle the food carefully to avoid contamination.
  • A food handler responsible for tasting and adjusting seasoning is governed by specific rules. For instance, one must be a qualified chef to handle the responsibility of tasting any prepared meal.
  • Bartenders and waiters/waitresses are also referred to as food handlers but cannot be permitted to taste and adjust food seasoning. This is because they are not qualified chefs and have no knowledge about the recipe being prepared.
  • Food handlers preparing food for the public are keen on health precautions. Contamination from a food handler can cause a pandemic to the public; therefore, all food handlers must be trained and qualified in their specific roles.

Personal Hygiene of Food Handlers

  • The key factor for a food handler in hygiene is being able to take care of their personal cleanliness.
  • A food handler has to wash hands before handling any food or equipment in their area of work. They should also wash their hands before wearing gloves.
  • Food handlers must immediately wash their hands after touching the ears, nose, eyes, skin, sweat, earrings, mucus, jewelry, hair, or blood. A food handler must also avoid touching food and cutlery after handling money.
  • A food handler must also clean hands thoroughly with warm water after sneezing, smoking, visiting the toilet, and touching any body part. They should also dry their hands with paper towels or a hand dryer.
  • A food handler should never cough, blow or sneeze over uncovered food or a surface that comes into contact with food.
  • Food handlers must not have any loose, long, or hanging hair. They should also ensure that hair clips, jewelry, buttons, pins, and bandages are properly secured.
  • Any infections or illnesses that cause discharge in the ears, nose or eyes, or any other body part should be reported to the supervisor of food handlers to avoid the risk of food contamination. In the same way, a food handler must inform the supervisor if they develop any food-borne diseases.
  • Food handlers must notify the supervisor if they, by any chance, contaminate the food before it is served to the public.


There is no rule against a food handler tasting food to adjust seasoning. However, there are hygiene measures and precautions while doing it.

While it’s okay for a food handler to taste food to adjust seasoning, they should refrain from using any utensils twice and never expose food to contamination.

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Tom Valenti

Chef/Owner of both Ouest and ‘Cesca, and the Executive Chef of Le Cirque, Alison on Dominick, and Butterfield 81.

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