Why It’s Important to Change Your Disposable Gloves Regularly
Disposable gloves or single-use gloves are used by food handlers in a restaurant to prevent the spread of harmful foodborne pathogens. They serve as a barrier between an employee’s hands and the food being prepared. Apart from preventing a disease outbreak, disposable gloves can also protect an employee when working with peppers or smelly foods like onions and fish. Nitrile gloves are a great example of disposable gloves. They are similar to latex gloves, but they are safe for people suffering from latex allergies.
An outbreak of foodborne diseases can lead to severe consequences for customers and food establishments alike. Preventive measures against the spread of these diseases include ensuring proper gloving and hand hygiene in the kitchen. Employees must make sure that they wear gloves on recently washed hands. Although Nitrile gloves are resistant to water and oil, and they offer protection from abrasions, tears, and punctures, it is important to adopt some safety habits while using them. Keep in mind that these gloves are not made to be used for extended periods. They are meant to be worn and thrown away after usage.
When Should You Switch to A Fresh Pair of Disposable Nitrile Gloves?
As Soon as It Gets Torn or Dirty?
Our hands are covered in bacteria, therefore bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat food can lead to food contamination. Whenever you notice that your gloves are dirty or torn, make sure to get rid of them, wash your hands, and put on a new pair.
After Four Hours of Continuous Use
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), employees are required to change their disposable gloves to a fresh set after four hours of continuous use. This is important because, even though your gloves are not torn or dirty, bacteria and viruses can still grow on them. Also, it is good practice to change your gloves frequently at least every two hours.
After Handling Raw Foods
Raw foods, especially meat, can sometimes contain pathogens. These pathogens can easily transfer to other foods or utensils in the kitchen. Raw meat may contain Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and other bacteria.
After Touching Your Face
Disposable gloves work by creating a barrier between your hands and the food you are handling. It is good practice to refrain from touching your face while cooking. If you touch your face or any part of your body, you should get rid of your gloves, wash your hands, and get a new pair of disposable nitrile gloves.
Before Starting a Different Task
You should always put on a new pair of gloves if you are beginning a new task, leaving the kitchen, or handling money. Money and items held outside of your workstation might be contaminated. Likewise, you might be spreading pathogens from your workstation to other parts of the kitchen, if you do not follow these gloving procedures.
Finally, food service employees should always wear disposable gloves whenever they are handling food, except while washing fresh produce. Following FDA-approved procedures will reduce the risk of cross-contamination of workspaces, consequently, ensuring that customers are risk-free.