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Protecting against food contamination is one of the many health safety concerns food establishment managers must handle. While gloves help address this concern by preventing employee’s direct contact with ingredients, simply wearing them isn’t enough. Employees need to understand when to put on a new pair, and how to check for defects in gloves. That’s why today we’re going to cover when it’s time to switch out those gloves!
A general rule of thumb for kitchen workers is to never have direct contact with food and ingredients. Naturally, gloves are the easiest way to accomplish this. However, employees should know that gloves should be changed out whenever employees are switching between foods. If workers are handling raw meat, for example, gloves must be changed before working with vegetables. Similar to storing raw food in separate containers from product and other ingredients, changing gloves helps prevent cross-contamination of bacteria from other foods.
Speaking of cross-contamination, food allergies must be taken seriously when a customer mentions they have them. In some instances, even the smallest exposure can cause a reaction. To prevent these incidents from occurring at your establishment, ensure employees are familiar with the eight food allergies identified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Gloves should be switched out before working with dishes that are going to these customers.
Employees need to check for glove defects before and during use. Even the smallest rip or tear can easily grow while the glove is in use, exposing employee’s hands to ingredients. When first putting on a glove, workers need to check for these defects. Gloves should also be checked periodically during use to ensure they are still safe to wear.
Of course, proper glove use isn’t limited to checking for rips and tears. Employees should make sure available gloves are the right size. Wearing tight gloves increase the chances of rips, while wearing too loose gloves can easily expose skin to food. Make sure that you provide gloves in a variety of sizes to protect every employee.
Maintaining a clean kitchen requires routine chores that all employees must help out with. Cleaning equipment, mopping floors and taking out the garbage can expose employees to bacteria that can’t be passed to food. Remind employees to wear gloves when cleaning around the kitchen, and to switch them out once they’re done. Employees should also wash hands before putting on a new pair of gloves.
Please note that there may be other rules and regulations regarding glove use for your establishment’s location. Please be sure to review local and state health codes, along with other resources such as the FDA.
CiboWares is proud to provide food establishments with a complete line of gloves to best fit their needs. Our poly gloves make any rips or tears obvious to any workers. Go with our elbow poly gloves for extra protection when working with large bowls, pots and vats. The next time you need to switch out for a new pair of gloves, we’ll be here to help you out.
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