Is it acceptable for employees to use Latex gloves in a food manufacturing and packaging facility in any application under any auditing standards?
We have a GMP Audit coming up and it will be done by Randolph Associates. This is the first time using them after always using AIB or Silliker for our third party audits. In the GMP standards supplied by Randolph it clearly states that disposable gloves should be latex free and powder free, going forward we will comply to this. However, we have a stockpile of latex gloves with more on order and the purchasing department is putting up quite a fuss over the change. I am rather new to food safety/quality but to me it is very obvious why we wouldn't want to use latex. There is really no way for us to detect latex fragments or even a whole glove if it is inside our product. I do not know how long latex gloves have been used in our facility or who initially approved their use. Purchasing is fighting the change by using the flawed reasoning of "This is what we have always used and never had a problem so why do we have to change things now". I honestly have no idea why anyone in our purchasing department would even care what type of gloves we use.
We currently have powder free latex, powdered latex, latex examination gloves, powder free nitrile gloves and a few vinyl gloves. I have explained the situation to the plant manager and he has agreed with me but some personnel are still putting up a fight and I was hoping I could come up with some examples and other guidelines to try and sway some attitudes and opinions with out having to go to upper management. This whole process has already taken up more time and energy then it should have and if I cant reason with people I will be forced to waste a lot more time on something that shouldn't even be an issue.