What Touches your Product?

May 12, 2016

Phthalates image

If you care about your food product, do you know what touches it? Often companies selling disposable gloves or protective clothing know very little about these products, the raw materials used in their production and where they are manufactured; many don’t even care! 

If transparency is an important value in your business then you need to know about your disposable gloves & protective clothing. With the advent of food safety standards being introduced in overseas markets, transparency in the supply chain is becoming vital to your business. This includes knowledge from your suppliers about the products which are handling your food.

"I am not a scientist and I am no expert on PVC, plasticisers or BPA. But, what I am an expert on, is our gloves. I am involved every day with the sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution of gloves to some very large (and small) food processing facilities. They rely on us to get it right for them and keep their staff, product, customers and reputation safe. We have been helping them stay safe for over 15 years." - Steve Ardagh, CEO & Founder of Eagle Protect.


It is concerning that despite documented and substantiated studies advising against the use of PVC or vinyl gloves, that some food processors and foodservice businesses still use these gloves. There can be some serious risks with vinyl gloves:

  • They are permeable under normal operating stress and can allow bacteria and virus to pass through micro tears created on donning or use. Contact us for scientific papers and studies on this.
  • They may contain BPA - especially if they seem remarkably cheap!
  • They will very likely contain some variation of Phthalates - some of which are noted in California Proposition 65 - e.g. DBP, BBP, DINP, DnHP and DEHP.*
  • These compounds are mostly soluble in fat and are not bound to the glove molecule - so migrate onto the food quite easily.

Our challenge to you is that if you are not prepared to drink from a plastic bottle containing BPA then don’t allow your food product to be handled by vinyl gloves. There is, of course, plenty of literature that defends the use of these Phthalates and BPA claiming that they are not harmful in the levels that could be leached from a PE bottle or a PVC glove for example. But, most of us are still pretty nervous about this.

Steve viewing the manufacturing process at a glove supplier

Steve viewing the manufacturing process at a glove supplier.


We are happy to discuss and advise (without obligation to buy Eagle gloves) on what we think are the best glove options are for your particular facility. As a Certified BCorp (Class of 2012), we are bound by our values and mission to (as our byline says), offer protection for a busy dirty world. Protection for your company, your staff, your customers and your reputation!

Contact us today to see how we can protect your brand.

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  1. We only recommend Vinyl gloves for intermittent use, no direct food contact and no contact at all with fatty or oily foods. These gloves should NOT be used in medical/dental situations. Eagle gloves are tested and fully pass the California Proposition 65 requirements – important if you are exporting to the US.
  2. *Phthalates and BPA are chemical compounds that appear in solvents, plasticisers and common household products. See here for more information, or google phthalates.

Tags: Food Safety