Those who work in food service know how important maintaining proper hygiene is to the health of their customers, employees—and their business itself.
From cafeterias to hot dog carts, sandwich joints to fine-dining establishments, the number one priority for employees—other than keeping customers happy—is to keep them healthy by preventing the spread of foodborne illness.
Vigilance starts with cleanliness: “Employees must wash hands before returning to work” is featured prominently in every restroom or kitchen in every restaurant in America. But just as important is ensuring that all workers wear gloves whenever they handle food.
Nothing beats soap and water
Employers cannot ensure 100 percent compliance by employees with recommended handwashing practices. Handwashing, also, may not always be enough to stop the spread of germs from hands to food. Disposable gloves are essential in the food-service industry because managers can visibly monitor workers’ food safety practices. Consumers get peace of mind that there is a barrier between workers’ hands and their food.
One key facet of the food-service industry is workers tend to switch frequently between light-duty tasks, and they need disposable gloves that can accommodate their workflow. That is where polyethylene, also known as poly, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), also known as vinyl, gloves enter the picture.
A looser fit at an affordable price
To avoid cross-contamination, food-service employees switch gloves often—for instance, after every customer served in a sandwich shop assembly line. Given the fast pace common in this industry—during a lunch-hour rush, for example—these workers need a glove they can slip on and off quickly.
Poly gloves, which are latex-free, fit this description. They are made from two sheets of polyethylene film that have been seamed and sealed with heat. This material is thin and inexpensive. Poly gloves are also powder-free. Because they do not conform to the hand as closely as other glove materials, donning and doffing is easy. This feature also means reduced dexterity, but the gloves are given a light texture for better grip.
More dexterity with vinyl gloves
A staple in the food-processing industry, latex-free, powder-free vinyl disposable gloves are affordable and suitable for a variety of applications. Vinyl gloves have two advantages compared with poly gloves: They conform more closely to the hand and provide better dexterity. If an employee needs to handle a small amount of garnish, for example, they can have an easier time grasping the correct amount with vinyl gloves.
Why not latex or nitrile?
As in any industry, workers and consumers can have latex allergies. Even if employees are able to wear the gloves without trouble, they could transfer latex proteins to the foods they handle, thereby causing a consumer to experience an allergic reaction. Nitrile is latex-free, but its level of durability and price are not practical for gloves that are going to be changed often.
In the end, poly and vinyl gloves offer the value and ease food service workers need.
Are you a distributor with customers in the food-service industry? You could substantially add to your bottom line by adding disposable gloves to your catalog. These high-margin, residual products are a terrific profit center. Let’s face it: Your customers are already buying their gloves from somebody. Why aren’t they buying them from you?
Contact us today to learn how AMMEX can help you grow your glove sales!