Food Safety Starts With Clean Hands, Disposable Gloves

An illustration showing various nitrile gloves in foodservice.

September is upon us, and with it, National Food Safety Education Month. It’s our annual reminder from the National Restaurant Association to help raise awareness among foodservice employees about proper handling of food.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that every year, an estimated 1 in 6 people in the U.S. (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food.

The pandemic, of course, took food safety awareness to new heights, as face masks (and in many cases single-use gloves) became standard equipment. While restaurant traffic has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels and most if not all restrictions are removed from the dining experience, that in no way means food safety is an afterthought or a relic of 2020-21.

A commonality throughout foodservice involves the need to be proactive about preventing the spread of pathogens and contaminants. It is about protecting three vested interests: the employee, the customer, and the establishment. What happened to Chipotle still serves as a cautionary tale.

Soap + water + thorough scrubbing

The No. 1 line of defense against foodborne illness is meticulous handwashing. No. 2 is proper use of disposable gloves.

Fifty-four percent of outbreaks caused by infected food workers involve improper handling of ready-to-eat-foods such as washed raw fruits and vegetables, baked goods, or items that have already been cooked. The good thing is, it’s easy to learn how to take steps to help prevent food poisoning and show others how to keep food safe.

Another important factor is choosing the right gloves for foodservice.

Light-duty gloves pair well with food

Traditionally, vinyl gloves like X3 Clear Vinyl (GPX3) have been the go-to. They deliver light barrier protection at an attractive price, especially considering that restaurant work involves not only frequent glove changes but also razor-thin margins.

That has begun to change with the growing popularity of nitrile. Three-mil nitrile in black (BX3) and blue (X3) are catching on in foodservice environments. They offer superior comfort to reduce hand fatigue and barrier protection that exceeds other glove materials.

AMMEX Professional exam-grade gloves are another option. They come in indigo (AINPF), black (ABNPF), and blue (ACNPF and APFN), and all of them are resistant to fentanyl for up to 240 minutes based on the ASTM D6978 standard.

Better safe than sorry

While that may seem unnecessary, we frequently hear stories about employees finding fentanyl that has been left behind in restaurants—or even worse, employees using on the job. The AMMEX Professional gloves offer the kind of protection that benefits everyone in the establishment.

Another glove proving indispensable in foodservice is Gloveworks Nitrile with Raised Diamond Texture, in orange, green, black, or royal blue. Not are they only thicker (8 or 6 mils), but their texture delivers an awesome grip—great for those who handle dirty dishes and glasses. They also have superior strength and durability for employees doing heavy-duty cleaning of kitchen equipment.

The opportunities for foodservice glove sales are abundant, especially with gloves being a recurring need. Log into your AMMEX account on our Online Portal today to learn more and place an order.

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