Washing our hands is a cardinal rule in the food service industry. But sometimes washing your hands isn't enough to prevent food-borne illnesses.
The food service industry is incredibly fast-paced, and sometimes hand washing policies aren't being followed completely. People tend to end up rushing their handwashing, especially when things start to get busy—and although that shouldn't be an excuse, it happens.
Rushed handwashing is one of the main culprits behind cross-contamination, which often results in food-borne illnesses. Because of this, the FDA Food Code now requires all food handlers to use disposable gloves. And not just any gloves—they have to be food-safe.
In this blog post, we'll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about food-safe disposable gloves. Specifically, we're going to address whether or not nitrile gloves are food-safe.
But before we can unpack this, it's best we start with explaining what makes disposable gloves food-safe in the first place. Make sure to read until the end to find the best place to purchase food-safe disposable gloves!
What Makes Disposable Gloves Food Safe?
There are tons of disposable gloves available on the market. There's polyethylene, latex, vinyl, neoprene, and nitrile. They are all used to avoid cross-contamination and to act as a protective barrier against hazardous materials.
But just because they're great for handling other contaminants doesn't automatically make them food safe. For gloves to be considered food safe, there are four essential things to look at:
Acceptable Quality Level
Acceptable Quality Level or AQL is a quality standard for measuring pinhole defects. Manufacturers are required to test their gloves for any pinhole defects, and they must get a minimum of 2.5 AQL or less. The lower the AQL, the fewer defects the gloves have. A 2.5 AQL means gloves must be manufactured with no more than 25 failures for every 1,000 gloves produced.
A 510k certification is given to any manufacturer that is considered safe and effective by the FDA. One cannot get 510k clearance without passing certain tests. When it comes to gloves, they have to go through puncture, abrasion, elongation, and tension tests. The AQL is part of getting a 510k. Only gloves that are certified with a 510k are considered safe and meet the standards of food-safe gloves.
Although being latex-free isn't really a strict rule when it comes to making sure gloves are food-safe, it still is important to consider. Latex gloves used to be the most popular type of disposable gloves on the market.
But due to the rising number of latex allergies, more people are trying to avoid using latex gloves. Latex allergies don't only affect the person wearing the gloves. If latex gloves were used in food prep, there is a large possibility that the latex proteins fall into the food as well.
Powder was commonly used to help make putting on gloves much easier. But in 2016, the FDA banned the use of powdered gloves. Although it was mainly banned for medical reasons, it can still be applied to food safety. One of the main reasons powdered gloves were banned was because they caused allergic reactions, especially when used in latex gloves.
The latex proteins were said to attach to the powder, and since powder can be easily spread it also made latex easier to spread. People could inhale the powder, which would cause inflammation in their airways. Not to mention, the powder could also easily contaminate the food you're serving.
What Are Nitrile Gloves Made From?
Nitrile gloves are made from a synthetic material called nitrile butadiene rubber, also known as synthetic rubber, and they're becoming increasingly popular. These gloves were purposely made to be a latex-free alternative to latex gloves.
Because nitrile gloves are made from synthetic rubber, instead of natural rubber, they contain zero latex proteins. These latex proteins are responsible for all the allergic reactions and are only found in natural rubber, not synthetic ones.
Are Nitrile Gloves Food Safe?
Although nitrile butadiene rubber might sound like a concerning name, it's actually a completely food-safe material. That is as long as you buy nitrile powder-free gloves. Most powdered gloves have been banned, but you may encounter some stores still selling powdered gloves. So make sure to only buy gloves that are labeled powder-free.
Nitrile gloves might actually be the best food handling gloves there are. That's because nitrile is the most durable out of all the different types of disposable gloves—on top of being latex, contaminant, additive, and allergen-free. A lot of people will recommend using nitrile gloves when it comes to food service, and we highly recommend them too.
Find High-Quality Food-Safe Nitrile Disposable Gloves At Primo Dental
Whether it's food packaging or food preparation, you need to ensure that whatever you're handling won't be contaminated by germs. For the best food-safe disposable nitrile gloves, look no further than Primo Dental—the number one PPE supply company.
All of our nitrile gloves are 100% food-safe. They are 510k certified, allergen-free, latex-free, and powder-free. Plus, they come in several sizes and colors too. Choose from black, light blue, dark blue, purple, and more!
For the best quality food service, you shouldn't just stop at wearing gloves. Complete your personal protective equipment (PPE) and purchase your masks from Primo Dental as well. We've got surgical masks and N95 masks for sale. They're sure to keep any bacteria from getting into the food your serve.
When it comes to personal protective equipment, Primo Dental provides the best quality for the most affordable price online—what more can you ask for? Get your food-safe nitrile disposable gloves and masks from Primo Dental today and get free shipping on orders $50 up!