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Food Safety Issues/Is it mandatory for food service employees to wear an apron...


Is it mandatory for school food service employees to wear an apron while preparing or cooking? Would you happen to know which regulatory authority and specific rule governs this regulation? I know it seems like an obvious question but the actual regulation is very hard to find.
Many Thanks,

Hi Michael,

I'm not aware of any food code rule that requires aprons to be worn while cooking. While aprons are generally worn while cooking to keep your clothing clean, it is not required by law to do so.

The Pennsylvania Food Code states:

46.137. Cleanliness of outer clothing.

Food employees shall wear clean outer clothing to prevent contamination of food, equipment, utensils, linens, single-service articles and single-use articles.

Local codes and employer mandates CAN require rules that are more strigent than the state code. So, for example, your employer could require an apron and this is within their rights to do so.  They can not make you do something less stringent than the code, but they can require you to do things that are more stringent.

Hope this is helpful.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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