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Justifying use of latex gloves - need to put a statement together

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MOOCHIE

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:46 AM

Hello all
In a recent audit it was brought up about the rubber gloves we issue to the staff, whether they are latex or latex free and if we have a statement to support this. We generally use latex rubber gloves but i need a statement of some kind to justify the useage, any idea's would be appreciated

Moochie



GMO

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 04:35 PM

I'd ask why you want to use latex because latex has been linked with a H&S risk of developing allergies to them and then risking developing related food allergies.

http://allergies.abo...a/latexfood.htm
http://www.foodaller.../LatexFood.html

Alternative gloves are available. Nitrile gloves are an option as they are also resistant to chemicals (latex isn't) and more resistant to tearing (so better from a FB point of view.) I can see why it was raised tbh.



Charles.C

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 03:50 AM

Dear Moochie,

I fear that this simple auditor request may not hv a genuinely simple answer although the auditor might be quite happy with a “pragmatic” response.

There are actually quite a few variations on the traditional latex these days, some at a price of course. :smile:

If you don’t mind a little concentrated reading, I remember finding one explanation from the “chief” of a wide-ranging food chain in USA as to the reason he still preferred latex gloves. The link is in item7 of this post which (from long memory) contains substantial FDA-inspired input on this particular issue –

http://www.ifsqn.com...dpost__p__39459

If you would like to see a tabulated comparison of the relative properties of many available glove types (which may provide a possible criterion for yr specific case), can try the nice links in this post (esp.the 2nd one) –

http://www.ifsqn.com...dpost__p__37867

Interested to hear yr own reactions

Rgds / Charles.C

PS - added - just one caveat, the above links are perhaps getting a little old, newer data might exist, rightly or wrongly. I hv a suspicion pure cost may rule out some of the (possibly) more attractive solutions, eg silicone.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


MOOCHIE

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:54 AM

without making myself look or sound stupid but if the product says fit for food handling and processing i.e the latex gloves, surely people buy the product because of that statement as they are deemed fit for purpose.

moochie



GMO

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 10:13 AM

Yep but tbh, they may have been asking for a simpler response along the lines of "why do you use gloves at all?" There is a school of thought that use of gloves discourages handwashing; just look in a local deli to see how often they're changed. I've even seen people handle money wearing them before then go straight back to food! So you just need to justify that your controls on encouraging changing of gloves and handwashing are good I suspect.



Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:38 AM

Hi Moochie,

You can consult a reputable supplier of gloves such as Ansell and you can obtain the right glove such as a nitrile glove and possibly a statement from them. They are the experts in the field. You can communicate with them on their website by conytacting them with a question:

http://www.ansell.co...rporate/en/home


Dr Ajay Shah.,
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MKRMS

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 09:13 AM

Hi Moochie,

As GMO mentioned earlier, latex can cause hypersensitivity on hands of susceptible individuals - i.e. wearing Latex gloves can make some of your employees sick. Under Health and Safety in the Workplace legislation, you may be likely to leave yourself open for liability and compensation claims from injured employees, if you do not (at least) offer a latex-free alternative.

Also, the latex protein can cause reactions in people that are allergic to some foods (cross allergies, e.g. strawberries). So residues from the latex in the gloves, which invariably end up in food (via the carrier corn starch powder), may cause an allergic reaction in people that are allergic to strawberries even though the food they ate does not contain any strawberries at all (but enough latex to trigger the reaction). This will again leave your business open for liability and compensation claims.

In my opinion, this opens a can of worms that is best avoided by not using Latex gloves, regardless if the manufacturer claim 'food safe'. The problem here is not one of potentially migrating chemicals (latex is a natural rubber), but has to do with food allergies and employee health and safety.

Non-latex gloves may contain other chemicals that can migrate to foods (just as packaging materials as well) and therefore you need to substantiate a claim of 'food safe', if necessary. The 'food safe' icon (a stylised knife and fork) might help here. Manufacturers can also provide information on possible food contaminants in their materials.

Considering all possible hazards from any type of gloves it is probably best to review the use of gloves altogether as GMO suggested in his post.

Regards,

Matt


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MOOCHIE

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:39 AM

Thanks to all for your help, looks like its rubber glove shopping for mePosted Image

moochie



GMO

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:52 AM

Thanks to all for your help, looks like its rubber glove shopping for mePosted Image

moochie



Kinky! Posted Image

Seriously you can get thin nitrile disposable gloves and also as I said before, perhaps it's worth a thought about whether you need the gloves and what they're for? Except in factories where the handling is extreme so several people handle several components (I'm thinking sandwiches and some ready meal processes here) I would probably exclude gloves and ensure good and regular handwashing.



MOOCHIE

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 12:12 PM

Kinky! Posted Image

Seriously you can get thin nitrile disposable gloves and also as I said before, perhaps it's worth a thought about whether you need the gloves and what they're for? Except in factories where the handling is extreme so several people handle several components (I'm thinking sandwiches and some ready meal processes here) I would probably exclude gloves and ensure good and regular handwashing.



Gloves are a must, they are used when the potatoes exit the washer and are graded, the potatoes could still have soil adhesion or rots etc so gloves are advisable, then there is the starch factor.

We also looked at the cost between disposable and rubber gloves and rubber gloves were the cheapest option.


Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:49 PM

Hi Moochie,

I have a client who processes all types of vegetables including potatoes and all staff on the potato and vegetable line wear thick nitrile gloves, so your answer is simple...avoid disposable and use nitril gloves provided you train staff to keep them clean and sanitary.:whistle:


Dr Ajay Shah.,
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MKRMS

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 08:20 PM

Moochie,

If I understand correctly, you use the gloves as PPE (personal protective equipment-protect employees from harm) rather than for food hgiene reasons.

Just make sure you know what is in the gloves you plan to use, or you might be back to square one with your auditor... Most rubber gloves (as in multiple-use dishwashing/household gloves) are made from or contain rubber latex, especially the cheaper varieties...

Regards,

Matt


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MOOCHIE

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 07:37 AM

Thanks to all for your thoughts and idea's.
We have (or rather i've told the boss this is what we're buying in future) decided to go with nitrile rubber gloves and discontinue the use of latex gloves.

moochie



Charles.C

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 12:32 PM

Dear Moochie,

As well-stated in previous posts, yr decision should presumably depend on yr objective. Initially I understood this was to satisfy yr auditor (whose comment appeared to necessitate clarification but was most probably directed to safety of finished product?). Now I deduce you hv basically “run away” from latex / relatives which is perhaps understandable. Nonetheless, all the options hv known weaknesses and based on a FSA survey which I included below (see no.1) you will seemingly be in an (average) UK industry minority (money talks ?!) but maybe not incorrectly so (and maybe not within the potato fraternity :smile: ).
There is an absolute minefield of theories on this topic so, after a little browsing last 2 days, I hv posted 2 pdf treatises on this topic and a number of linked discussions ( the majority published within last 3-4 years) for some happy weekend browsing. I hv tried to avoid the seemingly biased (but not in all cases) publications from glove sellers many of which predictably contradict each other :rolleyes:

Rgds / Charles.C

Attached File  gloves - FSA latex protein allergen transfer into foods - 11_27_Latex_final_report.pdf   707.58KB   23 downloads

Attached File  gloves - Outbreaks - Food workers related.pdf   224.36KB   13 downloads
(very detailed document, suggest searching for latex :smile: )

Attached File  vinyl gloves - truscott pt1 - mic0406w66.pdf   334.28KB   16 downloads
Attached File  vinyl gloves - truscott pt2 - mic0506w72.pdf   418.82KB   15 downloads
(primarily health-care oriented but seemed informative)

http://www.workershe...u/facts039.html
(maybe of value for auditorial defence in either direction)

http://www.ifsqn.com...dpost__p__37022

http://washingtonglo...glove_facts.php

http://www.kchealthc...hrax/Glove.html

http://boards.straig...ad.php?t=597442
(forum)
http://www.shumaonli...linggloves.html

http://www.wisegeek....rile-gloves.htm
(reader’s comments included)
http://www.ehow.com/...ile-gloves.html

http://www.ehow.com/...e-vs-latex.html

http://www.users.glo...~aair/latex.htm
(old, 2001 last update, included for interest and possibly still valid in part?)

http://www.disboards...d.php?t=2598543
(forum)

http://tipthepizzagu...um=13224&ip=123
(slightly, err, rude in places and certainly "anecdotal" but IMO still interesting content – caution advised)

http://www.winelover...php?f=5&t=13448
(slightly OT and definitely long-winded, but IMO interesting/amusing in early parts, UK oriented presumably)

I also saw this USA comment in one link but I suspect it is currently not valid (?).

The FDA also introduced legislation in 1998 that banned the use of latex gloves in food service establishments and mobile food units. The ban was effective
from 1 March 2003.


PPS - this one is really more aimed at US retail food handling and came out of a parallel thread. Nonetheless, it has some interesting info. regarding allergenic aspects etc -

Attached File  barriers to bare hand contact, gloves - FUCBU.ppt.pdf   3.6MB   11 downloads

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


GMO

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:29 PM

Gloves are a must, they are used when the potatoes exit the washer and are graded, the potatoes could still have soil adhesion or rots etc so gloves are advisable, then there is the starch factor.

We also looked at the cost between disposable and rubber gloves and rubber gloves were the cheapest option.


So is it for hygiene or health and safety purposes?


GMO

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:30 PM

And yes, you can get nitrile marigold style gloves (they're used in labs) but you might for auditing purposes just need to record why gloves are used at all.


Edited by GMO, 20 May 2011 - 08:30 PM.




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