Gloves in the food industry
With hand hygiene being considered as one of the most important contributing factors in food poisoning incidents, gloves play an important role in many food handling processes and are a vital tool in controlling food safety risk.
Gloves can provide an important physical barrier between a food handler and the food to be consumed. By extension, they serve to protect the food business, its customers and its reputation. That alone should make product selection an important purchasing decision.
A ‘food-safe’ glove is not just about food contact material (eg, EU1935) — too many buyers only consider this characteristic. Obviously, the material itself is a major component but other matters are vital too.
Relying on material qualities alone is a start — but not sufficient for such key products. There are many characteristics to be considered when assessing what type, and which make, of glove is appropriate for such tasks.
Karen Constable and Heloise Lam at HACCP International have written a 25-page white paper — Gloves in the Food Industry; A White Paper — that considers the various use cases for gloves in the food industry; both in foodservice and in food manufacturing sectors. It dives into the food safety benefits and risks associated with using gloves and it provides advice on the proper selection and use of gloves.
HACCP International certifies certain disposable and reusable gloves as food-safe and suitable for food handling in operations governed by a HACCP-based food safety program. Gloves carrying the HACCP International certification mark are fit for purpose in every respect.
HACCP International’s certification requires much broader compliance, which is described in the white paper. It also contains a glossary of glove-related terms, plus references to all research papers cited.
The white paper can be downloaded from the HACCP International website: https://haccp-international.com/gloves-in-the-food-industry-a-whitepaper/.
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