What an interesting article in the European Cleaning Journal that reports on a study about poor hand hygiene within healthcare workers who wear gloves!
This hazard is something also recognised within the food industry of course. We have seen with our own eyes the lack of hand washing and significant potential for cross contamination caused by catering workers wearing gloves and then failing to exercise proper control. The simple rules are:-
- Consider the glove really just as a “second skin” – you will pick up the same bacteria from raw foods and dirty surfaces. You do not become invincible or invisible to microbes!
- Change gloves frequently – especially after touching dirty areas or raw food.
- Change damaged gloves.
- Wash the hands when changing gloves – the build up of perspiration and warmth perpetuates the increase in bacterial population on the hands.
- Make sure the gloves are made of food safe material – look for instance for the little glass and fork symbol on the packaging which will tell you this. Look for some sort of accreditation to food safety such as the globally trusted HACCP International certification.
- Blue gloves are better! If they do fragment then the control of last resort is that the catering worker should be able to identify fragments of broken glove contaminating food
Proper glove control as well as hand hygiene is just one of the things that are assessed during MQM Consulting Food Hygiene Audits.