Food Handling Gloves

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Food handling gloves are used to protect food service workers from harmful bacteria and viruses that can be spread through contact with hands. They are typically required in many food safety regulations and guidelines.

Using gloves provides a barrier between food and hands, which can prevent the transfer of pathogens from contaminated surfaces to clean foods and vice versa. This helps reduce the risk of cross-contamination in a restaurant or other food establishment, which can cause illness in customers.

Gloves also protect the skin from hot and spicy foods, acidic juices, odors and greasy residues. They are typically made of a durable material such as vinyl, nitrile or latex with good dexterity and puncture resistance. Food safety experts recommend choosing gloves that are made of a food-safe material and can be washed for reuse. Purchasing food handling gloves in bulk is an economical way to get high-quality disposable gloves for your business.

Food safety guidelines state that gloves must be worn whenever touching raw or ready-to-eat (RTE) foods, unless they have been cleaned and sanitized. It is never a good idea to touch RTE foods with bare hands, as the bacteria on your hands could spread to other food. In addition, if you touch something else, such as a utensil or other surface contaminated with a pathogen, then you must put on new gloves.

Incorrect glove use can lead to a false sense of security for food handlers, which is why it is important to reinforce proper hand hygiene practices, especially when employees are new to the job. For example, imagine a line cook at a bar and grill puts on a pair of food service gloves and grabs the patty for a burger without washing their hands. They then continue to prepare the burger by topping it with lettuce, tomato and onions.

When gloves are contaminated they must be changed immediately. This includes when a worker touches a dirty dish or a surface and then their bare hands, opens a refrigerator, sneezes, coughs or handles money.

It is recommended that food service workers change their gloves every four hours or after a shift to avoid the build-up of bacteria. In addition, they must always wash their hands in a designated handwashing sink before putting on a new pair of gloves.

When buying food handling gloves for a restaurant, it is recommended to select a quality brand that has been tested and approved for food contact. Choosing a food-safe material is critical, such as nitrile, which has superior chemical and puncture resistance compared to latex. Nitrile gloves are also latex-free, which makes them a better option for restaurants with customers with latex allergies. Vinyl gloves are a cheaper option, but they tear easily and do not hold up well against heat or other chemicals. It is also a good idea to buy food handling gloves in bulk, as this will save your company money and result in less waste.