Did you know that proteins found in natural rubber latex gloves can trigger two conditions, Asthma and Urticaria? So with this in mind, wouldn't you want to see less use of latex gloves in the food industry?
Glove use has been recommended for many years to maintain hygiene when working with food. In addition, using gloves can lessen the amount of hand-to-food contact during food preparation.
Gloves worn during food preparation may give people a false feeling of safety and contribute to more issues with food safety. But it raises its questions about the products used to manufacture these gloves.
Due to state laws, latex gloves are experiencing opposition and banishment. Click here to get the latest information on latex gloves.
Which States Have Banned Latex Gloves?
Latex is one of the most prevalent materials for disposable gloves in the food service industry. Latex is a component of natural rubber.
The use of disposable latex gloves can trigger allergic reactions in persons who are sensitive to latex. Also, when people wear latex gloves to prepare meals, those particles can get into the food.
Some consumers have complained of allergic responses after eating at restaurants where workers used latex gloves. Thus, some states have outlawed the use of latex gloves in the food service industry, including:
- Rhode Island
In recent years, latex allergies and sensitivities have received increased attention. However, there have always been alternatives to latex in medical facilities, and the choice is now in the food industry.
How Do Latex Gloves Feature in Allergies?
One of the most common ways that latex proteins get into the place of work is via the use of single-use latex gloves. These gloves are available in either "powdered" (with powder added to make donning and taking off the gloves easier) or "powder-free."
Latex proteins leak out of powdered latex gloves and stick to the powder particles. When you use the gloves, the powder and latex proteins attach themselves to the powder. Thereafter, they get into the air and breathed in.
When you breathe in or ingest these powder particles, this can cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to latex.
What Replacement Are There For Latex Gloves?
The comfort level, tactile feel, and stretchiness of latex gloves make them quite popular. Many businesses choose them since they are also proven to be cost-effective.
Based on your company's requirements, you must choose the appropriate alternative to the allergy hazards that latex gloves pose. Here are three options for gloves that can be used in place of latex, along with some uses for each:
Single-Use Nitrile Gloves
Nitrile gloves are the best option for latex gloves, so they are the first on our list. Nitrile gloves are manufactured from nitrile butadiene rubber. But nitrile doesn't have latex in it, so it goes without saying that nitrile gloves don't contain latex.
Nitrile gloves are the best alternative choice to latex gloves because they:
- Are just as durable
- As comfortable
- Very functional
- Do not cause allergies
Furthermore, nitrile gloves offer excellent protection against:
- Most chemicals
- Biological agents
- Physical damage, such as tears and punctures
In fact, nitrile gloves are resistant to chemicals typically found in workplaces. These include to mention a few:
- Different fuels
- Mild Caustics
- Weak acids
- Oils and greases
- Petroleum compounds
Another reason nitrile gloves are so great is that they don't require any powder. Most typically, cornstarch is used to make the powder used in powdered gloves.
Similarly to latex, cornstarch can cause allergic reactions in certain people. Thus, since nitrile gloves typically don't include cornstarch powder, they're safe to use around food.
Nitrile gloves are excellent choices in any industry because of their many advantages. They are recommended for businesses with heavy client interaction, particularly in the food industry where food preparation is done.
Synthetic Vinyl Gloves
Vinyl Gloves are manufactured entirely from PVC or polyvinyl chloride. As a result of their low production costs, they are not as long-lasting as alternatives such as latex or nitrile. So, they should only be used for low-risk activities like food preparation, except when preparing fatty foods.
Vinyl gloves also have the drawback of not providing any chemical protection. Therefore, in this instance, it is not advised to use these gloves for anything more than low-risk tasks.
On the upside, vinyl gloves do not contain latex and are not known to trigger allergic reactions; as a result, they are safe to use for the vast majority of hygienic applications.
Poly gloves are perfect for restaurants that demand regular glove changes while preparing salads, sandwiches, etc. They offer a moist protective barrier. In addition, they are cheaper to manufacture and are suitable for high-turnover companies.
These poly gloves are FDA-approved for use in food contact and are available in various sizes and shapes. For example, shoulder-length and elbow-length poly gloves which protect sleeves when preparing salads and foods, as well as for use in agriculture.
On the other hand, poly gloves are inappropriate for use in situations that contain potentially harmful substances, such as chemicals or biological agents. However, most people only use them for basic cleaning chores and food preparation.
Choose the Right Glove For the Right Job Without Any Comebacks!
We hope that we have covered everything you need about buying gloves. To comply with the legislation, you should pick FDA-approved disposable food safety gloves instead of latex gloves. Like any specialized profession, the food business should consult experts regarding disposable gloves.
Are you in the food sector, where food preparation is your game? Are you faced with increased regulations regarding the use of latex gloves? The food service industry cannot function without the use of disposable gloves.
We provide the gloves you need to safeguard your staff and maintain food safety—from light salads and meal preps to more robust fish and meat-related duties. Browse our page to see our range of FDA-approved safety gloves for the food industry!