The food service industry is infamous for its tight margins, high overheads, and dramatic turnover rates within the first few years. Yet overall growth remains strong. Never before have consumers had such a choice of niche, independent businesses, or large chain franchises.
Consumers have become more concerned about what is in their food and how those products move from farm to table, and government regulators and restaurants around the world have stepped up to keep the public more informed about food safety. This trend is evident through posted food safety scores, which are becoming more visible to consumers.
Sept. 1 kicks off the National Restaurant Association’s National Food Safety Month (NFSM). The event, which recently passed its 20th anniversary, highlights the need for proper food handling throughout the food industry. Over the course of the month AMMEX will support NFSM and provide extra insight into safety throughout the food industry.
Workers in the food processing industry should be required to wear appropriate disposable food processing gloves to protect consumers who eat the foods they handle.
Disposable gloves come in a variety of colors, but this is not simply for wearer preferences. Some colors are more common in one industry than in another. Automotive technicians, for example, are fond of black nitrile gloves because the color seems suitable for their job, but the color has no bearing on the gloves’ usefulness.
Recent cases of avian flu strain H5N8 found in chicken flocks in Oregon, California and Washington have emphasized why disposable gloves are a necessity in the food processing industry.
Food processing facilities follow the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) rules, but these food safety guidelines are the bare minimum facilities undertake to prevent contamination. In addition to HACCP, these facilities follow rules regarding high- and low-care (or high- and low-risk) areas.
The Norovirus is commonly associated with wide-spread illness that occurs on cruise ships, but those account for only about 1% of all reported norovirus outbreaks. Recent news of Norovirus affecting a popular restaurant chain confirms that it can occur anywhere people gather or food is served. Infected people can spread norovirus to others through close contact or by contaminating food and surfaces. Food service workers who have the norovirus can contaminate food and make many people sick. However, there are ways to help prevent norovirus outbreaks in the food service industry such as following food service safety practices like proper barrier protection and hygiene policies.
The restaurant industry represents one of the greatest opportunities for glove sales. According to data from the National Restaurant Association, there are roughly 1 million restaurant locations in the U.S. and 14 million restaurant employees. On top of that, workers in food service use gloves more than employees in just about any other industry. With each individual worker using an average of 20 pairs of gloves every single day, the restaurant industry collectively goes through more than 200 million pairs of gloves on a daily basis.