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Requirements for gloves to demonstrate suitability for food manufacturing?


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#1 maylao123

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 04:33 PM

Hi all,

 

Due to the Covid-19, we need to enhance our Personal Protective Equipment policy to include wearing gloves all the time in the production. Can anyone share your experience about what requirements/documentation we should request for our supplier to ensure the gloves are safe and suitable for food manufacturing? Thanks.

 



#2 olenazh

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 04:44 PM

We use Nitrile exam gloves, medical grade, powder free, containing no natural rubber latex protein. They're CFIA approved and licensed by Health Canada - so, if you request your supplier for CFIA/Health Canada approval it would be sufficient to ensure gloves safety/suitability to use for food manufacturing. Make sure, they don't contain rubber latex as it's allergen.



#3 Food Police

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 04:53 PM

We are an SQF certified food manufacturing company, and we use generic nitrile powder free examination gloves (non-sterile) and have never had an issue. I think the powder free is important, since you dont want any residue getting on your food. Also I would use nitrile since latex could be an allergy issue. I am not aware of any specific SQF requirement for glove types, however if you could get a spec from your glove vendor, that would be ideal since technically its a raw material/packaging material and that vendor may be subject to a vendor qualification program. Our glove vendor is not on our supplier register though, and so far no auditor has complained.

 

More important than the glove itself is training on proper glove use and GMP's. Along with many benefits to wearing gloves in production, it also poses its own risks. Gloves fall apart, and fragments can end up in the food. Also, a single glove hole can release tens of thousands of bacteria from overly moist internal glove surfaces. They also may give a false sense of security and employees could possibly wash their hands LESS because they are wearing gloves. 

 

Always make sure there are regular glove changes on production lines, people are aware of their glove conditions, and everyone knows that gloves are no substitution for washing your hands. 



#4 manwellm

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 07:46 PM

I would also recommend that you purchase non-white gloves for production purposes, we use blue for example because if they get torn, etc. the piece can easily be identifiable. 



#5 Ryan M.

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 08:40 PM

Why are you requiring gloves?  What is the purpose now, versus prior to COVID-19?

 

I always have the concern with persons wearing gloves because they generally are more lax with their hand hygiene with a glove on making them more prone to contaminate something, someone, food.



#6 Food Police

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 09:59 PM

I would also recommend that you purchase non-white gloves for production purposes, we use blue for example because if they get torn, etc. the piece can easily be identifiable. 

 

Colored gloves are also very useful if you make allergens and non-allergens, and also if you want to enforce periodic glove changing. For example, you could use blue green and red gloves, and designate one color (green) to allergens ONLY, so you know which line or employees are handling allergens, and the other two colors (red and blue) could be rotated every hour or every changeover etc., so the colors will tell you if they changed or not, no questions asked.

 

Needless to say this could be applicable to all PPE that you are wearing: aprons, sleeves, gloves, hair nets, booties, etc.



#7 Food Police

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 10:04 PM

Why are you requiring gloves?  What is the purpose now, versus prior to COVID-19?

 

I always have the concern with persons wearing gloves because they generally are more lax with their hand hygiene with a glove on making them more prone to contaminate something, someone, food.

 

I agree with your feelings towards glove usage for most people, but I think all the extra stuff that people are doing in response to covid-19 is out of an abundance of caution. Similar threads point out the possible lack of merit for doing a crisis management exercise with an employee testing positive as a practice scenario since it has not been proven to be transmitted through food.

 

I think even if it doesn't help, at least it wont hurt.



#8 Ryan M.

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Posted 29 May 2020 - 10:17 PM

I agree with your feelings towards glove usage for most people, but I think all the extra stuff that people are doing in response to covid-19 is out of an abundance of caution. Similar threads point out the possible lack of merit for doing a crisis management exercise with an employee testing positive as a practice scenario since it has not been proven to be transmitted through food.

 

I think even if it doesn't help, at least it wont hurt.

 

Use of gloves, in my view, have nothing to do with crisis management.  If you do not have a strong glove use and hand hygiene policy prior to COVID-19 I would hesitate in implementing a glove policy.  I would only implement one if I am confident in the hand hygiene with the use of gloves.  If I wasn't confident I would just focus on increased hand hygiene measures and enforcement.

 

But that's my view; to each their own.



#9 mgourley

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 12:38 AM

It's been a requirement for years at our facility that people handling product post kill step use gloves (we use blue vinyl). We of course train people in proper hand washing/sanitizing and glove use (i.e. if you touch something other than food, you are supposed to change gloves.) But this is to mitigate the (possible) spread of food borne pathogens if people do NOT practice good hand hygiene.

We produce low moisture products, on relatively segregated lines, so allergen cross contact is not an issue. 

 

Now to the OP... why is wearing gloves required now, when I assume it was not before? Are people not properly washing/sanitizing hands? 
I simply don't see the value add in requiring glove use 'just because". 

 

Marshall



#10 SQFconsultant

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 02:22 AM

SQF does not specify a specific glove type. With that said of our clients that use gloves they use blue non-sterile, no powder nitril gloves.


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
 
GOC GROUP / +1.800.793.7042 / Food - Food Packaging - Food Storage/DC

SQF, BRC & IFS System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants

Serving Small-to-Mid-Size Businesses | We are International - Accepting all major C-Currencies

Internal Auditor Training | eConsultant | SQF, BRC & IFS Pre-Development or Pre-Audit GAP

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#11 andrewmachon

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 08:49 AM

We use blue gloves which are powder free and latex free. However, the management of the wearers of gloves is a challenge. There is a belief here that you have to wear gloves to handle food ... when I touch anything without gloves, I get the most disapproving of looks.

 

However, I know that my hands are clean, as I wash them ! Strangely, I have not seen anyone wash their hands with their gloves on ! And there is a mindset here which is that wearing gloves protects the food from my bare hands. The problem is that there is unlimited wearing of gloves for every task.

 

We have done micro swabs of hands and got reasonable results. Its not true for gloves though ! 

 

We have a policy in place now, where an alarm sounds every 30 minutes to signal to people that they need to sanitise ( alcohol ) their gloves. Every hour a change is needed. Microbiologically 30 mins is OK but depends on the user obviously. 

 

My advice ... proceed with care when implementing a glove policy. And be able to demonstrate its better than no gloves but frequent hand washing 



#12 Food Police

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 07:32 PM

Use of gloves, in my view, have nothing to do with crisis management.

 

I was simply comparing the use of gloves in response to covid-19 to doing a crisis management drill where the scenario is an employee tests positive for covid-19 and comes into work. A lot of people argue that using a positive covid-19 result from an employee would not be appropriate, similar to how a lot of people are arguing that wearing gloves where no glove requirement was in place prior to covid-19 doesn't make sense. So you are correct, I think I was just misunderstood. 






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