Dirty Gloves Linked to Food Spoilage

August 30, 2019

Dirty Gloves Cause Food Spoilage Blog Header Image

Pathogens known to cause food spoilage have been found on brand new disposable gloves compliant for food handling. 

Manufacturers selling gloves that state they are compliant for food handling are not required to check for bioburden or toxicity of the glove either at the factory or on entry into New Zealand.  Disposable glove manufacturing is largely unregulated. This can lead to unsanitary conditions, allowing the survival of potential microbial contaminants on both the insides of gloves (affecting the glove wearer) and on the outside food contact surfaces.

Preliminary results of microbial testing of the surfaces of unused disposable gloves have found not only bacteria specific to foodborne illnesses (FBIs), such as E. coli and Staphylococcus, but also pathogens known specifically to cause food spoilage. These pathogens were found on new and unused disposable gloves currently sold to the US food industry. They are the result of contaminated water sources used in glove manufacturing, from surface water polluted by agricultural, industrial and urban run-off - including sewage contamination!

As reported by NZ Parliament’s Environment Select Committee “Food waste is a major issue in New Zealand. As a nation, we waste an estimated $872 million worth of food a year. That represents 122,500 tonnes of food sent to landfills - enough to feed everyone in Dunedin for two years”.  Such is the magnitude of food waste in NZ, the Environmental Select Committee is carrying out a briefing to look into ways to prevent the waste of food in New Zealand.

Could gloves be contributing to this unnecessary food waste? Gloves compliant for food handling are not required to be tested for microbial levels, meaning there are no required tests to ensure their cleanliness (bioburden levels), no testing to ensure your gloves are free from food spoilage pathogens, or those specific to FBIs.



Choosing a clean glove may decelerate conditions of food spoilage. Our gloves are tested to ensure their food safety compatibility, including their chemical make-up, cleanliness (pathogens) and structural integrity through our proprietary Fingerprint glove analysis.

Eagle gloves protect your food, staff and reputation and are certified safe to enhance your food safety programs.


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Tags: Food Safety