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Effect of sanitizer wipes on plastic gloves

Isopropyl Glove

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#1 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 04:26 PM

I'm not really sure Food Microbiology is the best place for this question but I am looking for information or options.

 

Previously we had in our product inline metal detectors procedure for the operators to take one sanitizer wipe and sanitize their hands then take a 2nd wipe and clean the test pieces before the metal detector is used.

 

One of our employees, while bored and in the break room, started to read the actual label on the container that said: "Do not use to clean or sanitize human skin". 

 

So... needless to say whoever set this up in the first place didn't realize that they set up a policy that technically violates the recommended use of the "chemical".

 

There is no way for the operator to wash his hands before he tests the metal detector because of what floor it's located on so the next idea is to use plastic gloves, sanitize those with the sanitizer wipes, and then sanitize the test pieces, then test the equipment.

 

What I'm looking for is if the active ingredients for these wipes is known to have any adverse effect to the plastic gloves.

 

We are using Ecolab's Eco-wipe FCS and the active ingredients on the label are Isopropyl Alcohol 5.4800 %, and n-Alkyl (C12 67%, C14 25%, C16 7%, C8, C10, C18, 1%) Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride 0.0175%

 

That's directly off of the label.  I'm not a chemist so I have no idea what the n-Alkyl stuff is... carbon chains I'm guessing but I don't want to research this for days if someone has an idea.

 

Thanks for any help,

Mr. I


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#2 Snookie

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:40 PM

Am curious.....do the test pieces touch the food? Is there a necessary reason for the sanitation before testing?


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#3 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:53 PM

it goes into the same piping the food goes through.  It is of course set up so that the product is stopped and the test pieces can't continue too far past the metal detector.  And the wipes are food safe... just not human skin safe.


Edited by Mr. Incognito, 26 June 2014 - 05:53 PM.

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#4 Snookie

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 06:29 PM

 

There is no way for the operator to wash his hands before he tests the metal detector because of what floor it's located on so the next idea is to use plastic gloves, sanitize those with the sanitizer wipes, and then sanitize the test pieces, then test the equipment.

 

Thanks for any help,

Mr. I

 

Ahh.  I don't see a problem with your next idea, but would suggest a hand sanitizer before gloving.  This way your putting a clean hand in a clean glove.  While I am not a big advocate of hand sanitizers, I know many are and this should satisfy an auditor who is. 


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#5 fgjuadi

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 06:29 PM

Hooray! I'm trained as a chemist!  ( it comes in handy for the first time since college) I'm a QA person now, but I loved being a chemist.  Isopropyl def not for bare hands, it dries them out too much (tbh I used to use it on my bare hands all the time in the lab, but one day a maintenace guy told me I had OLD LADY HANDS :crybaby: , which is not acceptable, so I stopped using it & started with the lotion.

 

Are the EcoLab wipes causing the gloves to degrade prematurely ? Any sanitizer will probably weaken the gloves, but they shouldn't be falling apart or anything.  Are you using nitrile gloves?


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#6 Shyguy77

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 06:55 PM

I haven't used sanitizing wipes for cleaning off any types of equipment or gloves, but in theory your idea could be a quick and simple solution. You could also go with getting a bottle of hand sanitizer and using that to sanitize the operators hands and gloves or just the hands and continue to use the wipes on the test piece and / or gloves. I have employees that use hand sanitizers on their gloves with no adverse effects to the gloves.


Edited by jpredmore, 26 June 2014 - 06:55 PM.


#7 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:06 PM

Ahh.  I don't see a problem with your next idea, but would suggest a hand sanitizer before gloving.  This way your putting a clean hand in a clean glove.  While I am not a big advocate of hand sanitizers, I know many are and this should satisfy an auditor who is. 

 

 

See this is my conundrum about your point, which I did think about some before I posted this question, once you open a package of sterile gloves they should really be considered contaminated unless of course they are all individually wrapped (and therefore expensive as hell).  So I was thinking of having them put the gloves on, then sanitize the gloves (because they are clean of course), then sanitize the test pieces.  I know what your saying about "dirty hands" grabbing gloves but I don't think that the load transferred to pulling them out and putting them on is something sanitizer wouldn't take care of.

 

 

Hooray! I'm trained as a chemist!  ( it comes in handy for the first time since college) I'm a QA person now, but I loved being a chemist.  Isopropyl def not for bare hands, it dries them out too much (tbh I used to use it on my bare hands all the time in the lab, but one day a maintenace guy told me I had OLD LADY HANDS :crybaby: , which is not acceptable, so I stopped using it & started with the lotion.

 

Are the EcoLab wipes causing the gloves to degrade prematurely ? Any sanitizer will probably weaken the gloves, but they shouldn't be falling apart or anything.  Are you using nitrile gloves?

 

 

Well I'm happy that I was able to make your degree relevant to something you did in life :shades: .  We haven't been using gloves just the wipes on skin.  I was wondering if anything in the wipe would degrade the gloves in any way that might be unacceptable for this test purpose.  Of course the gloves and wipes would be one use only and used pretty quickly.

 

 

I haven't used sanitizing wipes for cleaning off any types of equipment or gloves, but in theory your idea could be a quick and simple solution. You could also go with getting a bottle of hand sanitizer and using that to sanitize the operators hands and gloves or just the hands and continue to use the wipes on the test piece and / or gloves. I have employees that use hand sanitizers on their gloves with no adverse effects to the gloves.

 

There is a very small bottle of sanitizer that is on the table on that floor... and now that I think about it I have to wonder if we have an MSDS for it... but I digress.

 

This is something to think about.  We use the sanitizer wipes anyhow and that's what we've been doing so all in all I'd rather keep that the same if possible.  But it is an option.


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#8 jkoratich712

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:15 PM

Have you spoke with Ecolab on the product and if it would have any effects on the gloves, or if they have a wipe that would be ok for skin contact? I have relied on my chemical supplier to answer these types of questions, as they are the chemists and the experts!



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#9 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:22 PM

Have you spoke with Ecolab on the product and if it would have any effects on the gloves, or if they have a wipe that would be ok for skin contact? I have relied on my chemical supplier to answer these types of questions, as they are the chemists and the experts!

 

You know sometimes the easiest answer is the hardest one to see.  Good point about calling them I'll do that tomorrow.


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#10 fgjuadi

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:40 PM


 

Well I'm happy that I was able to make your degree relevant to something you did in life :shades: .  We haven't been using gloves just the wipes on skin.  I was wondering if anything in the wipe would degrade the gloves in any way that might be unacceptable for this test purpose.  Of course the gloves and wipes would be one use only and used pretty quickly.

 

 

 

There is a very small bottle of sanitizer that is on the table on that floor... and now that I think about it I have to wonder if we have an MSDS for it... but I digress.

 

This is something to think about.  We use the sanitizer wipes anyhow and that's what we've been doing so all in all I'd rather keep that the same if possible.  But it is an option.

 

It won't hurt one time use gloves, but it will their use time (insignificantly) shorter

 

I say go with the FCS wipes for gloves - gloves are a food contact surface and the wipes are designated for food contact surfaces. ( D2 sanitizer)

If you want bare hands, hand sanitizer that is gentler is approved for hand to food contact surfaces can be in wipes too.  (E3 sanitizer).  I think Alpet and GOJO/Purell  have wipes in E3


Edited by magenta_majors, 26 June 2014 - 07:42 PM.

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#11 Snookie

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 07:54 PM

Refresh my memory, your doing grains and flours? Is this the product in question?


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#12 mohdalif

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 07:53 AM

my question is, since hand sanitiser is considered alternative to hand washing practice which using soap+water, do hand sanitiser is required before glove?

 

My point of view, if one requires to touch food with bare hands at minimum contact, hand sanitiser only helps to reduce the potential of harmful bacteria.  

 

But if you are using gloves, I don't thing there is a need to apply hand sanitiser.



#13 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 11:31 AM

my question is, since hand sanitiser is considered alternative to hand washing practice which using soap+water, do hand sanitiser is required before glove?

 

My point of view, if one requires to touch food with bare hands at minimum contact, hand sanitiser only helps to reduce the potential of harmful bacteria.  

 

But if you are using gloves, I don't thing there is a need to apply hand sanitiser.

 

Hand sanitizer is not an alternative to hand washing in any plant that I've worked in.

 

It is allowed to be a quick sanitizer on hands that have been washed previously and have not become filthy.

 

The idea of sanitizing before you put the gloves on is so that your hands do not contaminate the gloves.

 

Refresh my memory, your doing grains and flours? Is this the product in question?

 

Wheat into flour (also germ, bran, and middling byproducts)


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#14 Snookie

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 05:36 PM

I agree with Mr. I..... sanitizer is not an alternative to hand washing.

 

That being said.  Think you can get crazy with this stuff, but putting the gloves on wiping them down with a sanitizing wipe doing what you need to do  and then disposing of the gloves is adequate and if you want to lean to the OCD side the sanitize hands before gloving, but since the gloves are being wiped down its seems redundant.  For the brief time they will have gloves on the chemical is probably not going to be an issue. 


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#15 Snookie

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 04:13 PM

So just curious what you decided to do.  :uhm:


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#16 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 04:20 PM

We didn't have a food safety team meeting yet so right now they are using hand sanitizer that was already on the desk but I'm going to suggest using gloves and see what the food safety team thinks. 

 

Wear gloves, sanitize the gloves, sanitize the test pieces, perform the test, document.

 

That's going to be my suggestion.


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#17 Snookie

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 05:22 PM

Sounds reasonable. 


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