David Jones Food Hall hygiene and grooming rules from 1990

In the modern world, there are moderate hygiene and personal grooming standards to ensure Australian hospitality workers are dressed appropriately.

However these dress codes have changed significantly over the years. 

A list of the mandatory ‘personal hygiene and grooming’ restrictions for men issued by David Jones Food Hall in 1990 has resurfaced via the Old Shops Australia Facebook page showing just how much times have changed.

The strict rules – titled ‘personal health and hygiene in the Food Hall’ – included keeping ‘hair short, clean and off the face’, ‘bathe and shave daily’, and a ‘fresh uniform and apron must be worn every day’. 

A mandatory 'personal hygiene and grooming' restrictions for men issued by David Jones Food Hall in 1990 has resurfaced on Facebook - and my, how times have changed

A mandatory ‘personal hygiene and grooming’ restrictions for men issued by David Jones Food Hall in 1990 has resurfaced on Facebook – and my, how times have changed

The code, issued to male staff across the upmarket department store’s Food Hall, saw a bearded man in a white uniform and black apron.

The vintage sketching shows the male figure, along with the handwritten strict rules highlighted from his head down to his toes.

‘Keep hair short, clean and off the face… Shave daily, moustaches and beards must be neatly trimmed,’ the rule stated.

Despite the grooming restrictions, workers were required to wear fresh clothes daily.

‘Trousers should be kept clean and neat, washed and ironed regularly… A fresh uniform and apron must be worn every day,’ the restrictions listed.

‘Shoes should be comfortable with closed in toes, non-slip soles are recommended.’ 

Workers were required to ‘bathe on a daily basis’ and keep their fingernails short and clean at all times.

During work hours, employees were not allowed to ‘touch your face or hair’ or wear any jewellery on their finger except a wedding ring. 

The David Jones food hall (pictured in 2019) is known for selling gourmet produce and offers sushi bars, cafes, oyster bars and high-end bakeries 

The David Jones food hall (pictured in 2019) is known for selling gourmet produce and offers sushi bars, cafes, oyster bars and high-end bakeries 

‘Do not sneeze or cough over food… Always use a clean tissue or handkerchief,’ the rules continued.

‘Report any colds or coughs to your supervisor… Dermatitis/eczema must be reported to your supervisor immediately.

‘Wash hands thoroughly on a regular basis, wipe hands on hand towel, not on apron… Always use tongs, gloves or scoops for handling raw and cooked food.’

Social media users were amused by the resurfaced code.

‘I absolutely loved that place,’ one said.

‘That’s clearly the way a zombie robot should be dressed,’ another joked.

‘Food service people could learn from this poster. Touching your face or hair is a no no for starters.’

Others were shocked that the store felt as though they had to remind staff to ‘bathe’ daily and ‘use a clean handkerchief’. 

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