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Are gloves mandatory/necessary?

gloves hands hygiene regulations usa fda canada cfia necessary finished products

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#1 NicoD

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 01:51 PM

Hello everyone!

 

Context: packaging room, dry finished products, hand-packaged in then sealed plastic pouches (Aw <0.60).

 

As QA supervisor I know the many reasons why gloves are necessary.

 

So the main question is about regulations. Are they mandatory for any of the following:

 

• USA: food products for human consumption

• USA: food products for dogs and cats

• Canada: food products for human consumption

• Canada: food products for dogs and cats

 

Finally, about the necessity. Apart from the main possible reasons (huge microscopic crevices in human skin, suitable environment for microbial growth, sweat, nutrients, dead skin, under nails areas, impossibility to obtain a 100% compliance with personal hygiene practices, etc.), I'd like to hear your opinion, just a quick answer/sentence (I can consider in my report to the head of the company), if you think they are necessary or if their use can be dismissed.

 

Thank you! I appreciate your collaboration.

 

Best!


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#2 Scampi

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 03:47 PM

NO! Not in Canada, you write your program the way you want it.....we DO NOT use gloves except in locations required for employee safety.  Gloves pose a bacterial hazard (magic hand syndrome) as well as a physical hazard

 

IMO american tv shows would have us believe that gloves are cleaner than clean hands....the science says just the opposite

 

You are required however in Canada, to have hand wash only sinks with instructions posted about how to wash hands as well as when hands need rewashed (touched face, garbage can etc.)


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#3 NicoD

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 03:55 PM

Thank you Scampi.

 

But what about employees compliance?

 

Yes, if they wash their hands properly it's okay. But I notice employees washing their hands in a horrific way every week. And we're talking about touching finished products that, although dry, might develop molds and or other issues.

 

Thanks.


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#4 Scampi

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 04:06 PM

I have a check every day for employee compliance, but were making RTC. Are you making RTE? 

You can teach proper hand washing with dedication

Alternatively, hand wash plus sanitizer, just a though


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#5 NicoD

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 04:08 PM

Okay thanks.

Yes ready to eat, but all dry products.

 

Main problem we had in past is about quality: molds (2 years shelf life products).

 

I have a feeling that human skin is more prone to be a carrier of molds compared with gloves.


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#6 NicoD

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 04:10 PM

(added to reply above)

 

I also think we should re-assess and validate the HACCP program and the SQF system if we get rid of gloves, since it's a major change and we basically have no previous experience with finished products handled by bare hands during packaging, in terms of:

 

• shelflife

• molds

• safety

• other?


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#7 Scampi

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 06:13 PM

If you consider your finished good high risk, then perhaps staying with gloves in your facility makes more sense......we have a much larger problem at this facility wearing them 

 

BUT THEN THERE'S THIS

According to a 2007 study in the Journal of Food Protection, “Hand washing and glove use were also related to each other — hand washing was less likely to occur with activities in which gloves were worn.” A 2010 study in the same journal concludes, “Glove use can create a false sense of security, resulting in more high-risk behaviours that can lead to cross-contamination when employees are not adequately trained.” Also in the report: “Occlusion of the skin during long-term glove use in food operations creates the warm, moist conditions necessary for microbial proliferation and can increase pathogen transfer onto foods through leaks or exposed skin or during glove removal.” In other words, just wearing gloves can create dangerous conditions.

 

I would reassess and take another look at risks associated with glove use and rewrite with no gloves. Wash, dry and then use sanitise PROPERLY. 


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#8 NicoD

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 06:42 PM

Thank you again!


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