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Is it required for packaging material handlers to wear gloves?


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#1 skredsfan

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:51 PM

Hi everyone,

I've got a question regarding direct food contact material handling. Is it required for material handlers to wear gloves? We're a paperboard packaging company, which I think most consider to be relatively "Low Risk". We've got handwashing procedures in place that spell out anyone working within a direct food contact packaging line, must wash their hands before entering their work area, anytime their hands become soiled, and/or anytime they leave and re-enter their work area for any reason. With that being said, should I still make it a requirement for material handlers to wear gloves? The reason I ask is because a food safety consultant recommended that to me, but I'm still questioning the logic based on our handwashing procedures.


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#2 Foodworker

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:51 PM

Unless you have some very specific high risk application (eg direct contact with baby milk powder) of the paperboard, I would say it is not necessary.

It is not normal practice in the factories I have seen and I don't believe it is a significant risk providing that you police the rules. Gloves are only as good as the last thing that they touched and they have a tendency to become damaged with the inherent foreign body problem.


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#3 Charles.C

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:28 PM

Dear skredsfan,

(You hv posted in FSSC22000, was that actually relevant since it presumably draws aspects such as PAS223 / OPRPs into the question?).

(Not my field but i got the impression that packaging intended for direct food contact is automatically BRC classified as high risk ?)(I noticed that potential [but Table unspecified] usage of gloves is included in the BRC4 [High Risk] Packaging Standard)

Yr bold type text is part of the classic text typically met by prospective external food suppliers to US customers.

The obvious question is - was there any specific reason for yr consultant's recommendation ? For example, you specified direct fc, maybe RTE contents (?) also? (I hv no idea if packaging makers are practically aware of such food subtleties :smile: )

The general topic of glove usage in food sphere is often contentious and tends to divide sharply into pro/anti camps.

AFAIK, for food in USA, especially RTE, regulations are ultra-sensitive on the subject of glove usage, typically "pro". If you desire confirmation, just try reading the US Food Code's relevant section.

Just being cautious. :smile:

Rgds / Charles.C


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#4 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:27 PM

skredsfan

Further to the posts above, I have seen a couple of BRC certified facilities where gloves are used when handling plastic food contact containers. Regarding the rational and actual risk reduction of their use I must admit I have my doubts but in these facilites I got the sense they were doing mostly to avoid a long and painful debate with an auditor. In one facility I was in a number of years ago operators handling the containers wore gloves because the contract customer wanted them to and this was the end of the discussion.

George


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#5 dgt39

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:44 AM

I think it is a case of 'which is the easier to manage?' Ensuring clean, sanitised hands or clean gloves?
I would go with the clean hands every time.


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#6 campbell

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:27 AM

There are no speciogfic requuirements for staff to wear gloves. The issue is preventing contamination so facilities shioyuld be in place for hand washing if direct handling is to be undertaken
It is better to use clean hands than gloves which may be dirty.


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#7 Charles.C

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:50 PM

There are no speciogfic requuirements for staff to wear gloves. The issue is preventing contamination so facilities shioyuld be in place for hand washing if direct handling is to be undertaken
It is better to use clean hands than gloves which may be dirty.


I would hv thought it is necessary to maintain clean hands with or without gloves.

Rgds / Charles.C
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Charles.C





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