Could Disposable Gloves be the Source of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks?

Hairnet? Verify. Gloves? Verify. Pathogens? Likely.

A freshly sealed box of gloves ought to necessarily mean that they are uncontaminated, toxin-free, pathogen-no cost, and foodstuff-protected. Though the restaurant, foods dealing with, and manufacturing industries constantly push the worth of disposable gloves to ensure goods and buyers are guarded, proprietary pathogen screening furnished by glove distributor Eagle Protect has demonstrated this isn’t usually the scenario.

As the industry’s only B Corp accredited PPE supplier, Eagle Shield has conducted its own proprietary analysis and impartial screening of 26 brands of gloves. The preliminary effects of their third-party analysis lifted some critical inquiries about the source of foodborne ailment outbreaks in the industries that rely on disposable gloves: what if the food isn’t the supply of contamination? Is it probable that pathogens that lead to outbreaks could be transpiring further more back in the offer chain? Could this contamination basically be traced to PPE this kind of as disposable gloves?

To conduct their proactive, third-occasion investigation of dozens of glove models, Eagle Shield labored with the B. Michaels Group, led by Barry Michaels, who has more than 40 many years of experience in the subject of microbiology investigation. Via 4 a long time of rigorous study and evaluation, the workforce offered the first results at the 2021 Global Association of Foodstuff Protection (IAFP) convention. The success had been practically nothing considerably less than alarming.

In the testing of 26 diverse models of new and unused disposable gloves, appropriate out of freshly opened packing containers, Eagle Guard observed 50 percent had indications of human fecal contamination. In addition, traces of feasible foods-borne pathogens have been identified, all of which stand for a significant danger to community wellbeing, such as:

  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax)


If these pathogens are existing on the exterior and interior of new and unused gloves, how are purchasers intended to keep their buyers harmless if the certain goods meant to reduce contamination are themselves contaminated? Eagle Safeguard dug further into the provide chain situation, noting that significantly of the contamination menace starts in the production and manufacturing stage. And a lack of stringent import screening demands is allowing this danger to proceed.

Compared with other industries, glove factories providing the U.S. food stuff business precisely are not subjected to demanding Fda checking. The Food and drug administration Foodstuff Code for disposable gloves (Food and drug administration Title 21, Aspect 177) doesn’t even incorporate language that the gloves want to be intact, sanitary or be examined on arrival in the U.S. With a absence of rigorous tests, a domino impact ensues and benefits in important remembers with monetary ramifications. A person particular analyze disclosed that every food recall can price tag a model much more than $10 million, to say practically nothing of the irreparable hurt to their brand name and track record in the sector.

The most evident alternative, which has still to be resolved, is to avoid cross-contamination at the production stage, lengthy prior to they are packaged, exported, and distributed to the stop-customers.

Eagle Secure encourages those who get the job done inside of the food items production and handling industries to carry out their individual product or service investigation, sourcing disposable glove materials from confirmed distributors and suppliers. In search of sellers with higher producing requirements, excellent regulate measures, regime solution audits, and a dedication to cutting down the danger of cross-contamination in glove use can go a extended way toward stopping the subsequent foodborne illness outbreak. 

Steve Ardagh, “The Glove Man,” is the founder and CEO of Eagle Safeguard, a disposable glove provider devoted to the dependable sourcing of good quality products and solutions that make certain consumer safety and effects reduction, finally mitigating customers’ chance. Eagle Shield is the only global PPE supplier that is a Accredited B Corporation, a designation that a business has achieved the greatest benchmarks of confirmed functionality, accountability, and transparency. He can be reached at

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