I was in the Caribbean as a food and beverage operations consultant and was surprised that most resorts and food service operations didn't use disposable gloves. When I asked about that, the logic of the reply silenced me.

"This is an island. We have very limited landfill capacity."


There are a lot if issues in play here, centered around what type of glove to use.

Latex gloves are not advised because they can lead to anaphyaxis in consumers allergic to latex through the adherence of latex proteins to food and tableware.

Powdered gloves are also problematic:

"When powdered gloves are removed from their dispenser and pulled on or off a user’s hands, there is a minute puff of powder particles dispersed into the air. The most commonly employed glove powder is cornstarch. Only about 1/8 of a teaspoon of cornstarch is used per pair of gloves but this is enough to make potentially harmful latex proteins airborne, particles that were not completely removed from the gloves’ surface during the manufacturing process. Inhaled, this can be an irritant that develops over time into serious respiratory allergies for both patients and those who wear powdered latex gloves.

There is also evidence that the cornstarch dust picks up bacteria in its flight, subsequently spreading infection. Studies indicate that cornstarch impedes wound healing since it is a foreign body, contributing to infection, scarring and adhesion.
"



Other issues include proper fit, changing after touching hair, face, etc. and cross contamination during use.


There are many who favor the bare hand and constant washing discipline, citing heightened tactility and sensitivity. This calls for a rigorous oversight with hand washing protocol.

Lori Weisberg discusses bare hands in her article, Get a feel for your food.

Another bare hands proponent, The Arkansas Food Protective Service does not require gloves stating:

"Glove usage has not been proven to lower the incidence of food borne illnesses. Gloves become just as dirty as the bare hand but are not as likely to be replaced as often as the hands are washed. Gloves seem to give the food service worker a sense of protection that is not there. The Division of Environmental Health Protection , Food Protection Services Section is not against thee use of gloves in food service, but does require that hands still be washed and new gloves be used after each activity performed by the employee."


Finally, I spoke with the EPA, landfill experts, and several people involved in recycling to find out what is done with used gloves. There is no recycling effort that I was able to find and as near as I can figure the amount of gloves thrown away each year in the U.S. is somewhere around the .75 Billion mark. This figure does not include gloves used in the health care field, or labs, homes, and manufacturing.

All of this material is going into incinerators or landfills.


I could find only 1 company active in reprocessing gloves:

According to Glovea, a French company that has come up with a reprocessing procedure for disposable gloves, the amount used is significant.
Every year in France, more than 4 thousand million single-use hygiene gloves are thrown away.


I asked numerous people if they thought food service employees should use gloves and the answer was unanimously YES. They felt better protected against food borne illness and all mentioned a concern about the personal hygiene of the employees.

But, do gloves change the habits of the hygienically challenged employee or do they retain the same habits while gloved, leading us to a false sense of security?

If they do retain those habits the answer would be to increase supervision and training. Of course the same applies to bare hands and that leads to less waste and expense.





How about a show of hands? What do you think?

Views: 73

Tags: anaphylaxis, disposable gloves, landfill, recycling, sanitation

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh


Non-Operator
Comment by Pat Jack on February 25, 2010 at 11:54pm
Gloves break. Gloves are DESIGNED to break. The glove makers design these products to last as little time as possible so they can SELL MORE.

You can be absolutely certain that the companies that make these gloves hired a TEAM of scientists to make sure the gloves break quickly.

Food service workers regularly pick up heavy items and hold and use things that require a strong grip with a great deal of shear force as well. The gloves BREAK.

People breath and far more nasty things come out of your mouth in the form of water vapor droplets, etc ... than what comes off of your hands.

The glove thing is all about MONEY for the gloves makers.

Now, if you are talking hospital that is a totally different animal, literally, different "animal".

I've known great, five-star chefs who say if the chef isn't touching the food, it's not culinary art.

Non-Operator
Comment by Paul Green on February 24, 2010 at 2:32am
Biodegradability is indeed the issue, Jeffrey.

Here are two FAQ statements from MAPA:

Are MAPA gloves and packaging biodegradable?

Only natural latex is significantly degraded by oxidation when subjected to sunlight (UV). However, the level of biodegradability is less than for organic waste. Gloves made of other materials including natural or synthetic fibers are only slighty biodegradable if at all. Polyethylene and cardboard packaging can be incinerated or recycled.


Can gloves be incinerated?
Used gloves and their packaging can generally be destroyed in household waste incinerators or similar equipment. However, PVC (or vinyl) gloves may pose a problem where large volume incineration is required. In fact, incineration of such gloves leads to high levels of hydrogen chloride being released, with potential damage to the incineration installations. It's worth noting that gloves which have been contaminated during use by products which are biologically or chemically dangerous should be stored and destroyed in compliance with local regulations governing dangerous waste.
Comment by Jeffrey J Kingman on February 24, 2010 at 12:36am
I'm all for bare hands, with maximum washings. Unfortunately, many Health Departments have to consider the broadest common denominator in industry training (or lack of). Those stats on how many gloves are put in landfill are staggering though. Is there any bio-degradeable glove on the market?
Comment by John Maloni on February 23, 2010 at 8:06pm
I recently did a "mystery shop" at a new bar in Boston. As I sat at the bar and watched the three bartenders make drinks, something unique struck me. "Oh my God, I've been here an hour and not one of them has washed their hands." They made drinks, cleared dirty glasses, cut fuit, loaded the glasswasher, fixed their hair, filled ice without a scoop, unloaded glasses, wiped their lips, and NEVER washed their hands. A hand sink was behind the bar, with hand soap, paper towels and hand santizer also available. I was thankful that I was drinking bottled beer!
Comment by Michelle on February 23, 2010 at 1:37pm
First make every, and I mean every, employee take a food-safety clinic of some kind that emphasizes this before they hit the floor. Make it that important from day one. Serv-safe has an online course, and may have a video that could be shown on site. Seeing the nasty little germs we are talking about can have lasting impact. I know this will go over like a lead balloon, but checking to see if local Health Departments have regular free clinics, would not be out of the question in my mind. New hires could be required to attend.

Yeah, a bell or buzzer or ringtone. Not a bad idea. However it's done, it takes two weeks of constant practice to create or break a habit. This is one good habit that we can't afford not to have.
Comment by Michael Biesemeyer on February 23, 2010 at 11:40am
Maybe a different tone or chime could be programed to go off for each employee? Ringtones...they're so hot right now!
Comment by pubmaster on February 23, 2010 at 11:38am
When I was with Denny's, they had a time clock that went of every half hour -
It had to be reset, and the managers had to follow up
Imagine a line at the handwash sinks - really happened

After time, you do ignore the buzzer, however, the handwashing had become automatic

Like the free shot idea, though

Cheers
Comment by Michael Biesemeyer on February 23, 2010 at 11:33am
This may sound a bit Pavlovian, but what if there was a bell or chime that went off every 15 minutes reminding BOH staff to wash hands and a pop-up on POS monitors reminding FOH staff to do the same? Would they just start to ignore it over time, or would an incentive need to be added, perhaps a pin code keypad installed on the soap dispenser that monitors who's actually washing their hands. Free shot at the end of the shift to all who comply? Patent pending....
Comment by pubmaster on February 23, 2010 at 11:18am
Right On !

Cheers
Comment by Michelle on February 23, 2010 at 11:14am
The purpose of gloves is a food-barrier. There are at times other acceptable food barriers-tongs, for instance. But nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than constant proper hand-washing. The day someone walks on the job they need to have that training, and it needs to be continually reinforced by management. There is no exempt position to that requirement. We have a responsibility to ourselves and public safety. This is serious business.

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service