Disposable protective gloves

The primary purpose of disposable protective gloves is to protect foods from dirt and microbes that spread through hands. Occasionally, people seem to have forgotten this. You may have seen situations in which a person first handles money and then packs bread, berries or other food while wearing the same gloves. In this case, the gloves do not protect the food, but the microbes from the money are transferred by the gloves to the food.

How are protective gloves used?

Hands must be washed before putting on protective gloves. Insufficient hand hygiene cannot be replaced with the use of protective gloves. More information about hand washing and hand hygiene.

If protective gloves are used, they must be worn hygienically and changed often enough. The gloves must always be changed if they have been worn when touching

  • dirty surfaces,
  • dirty utensils,
  • money or
  • other possible contamination sources.

In what kind of situations can protective gloves be worn?

As a rule, the use of protectives gloves is not required in food industry work. However, there are some individual work stages and situations in which it is necessary to wear protective gloves, such as when

  • meat is handled with cut resistant gloves or when
  • the person has a hand wound covered with a plaster.

In addition to the above, food industry operators can themselves determine other situations and work stages in which protective gloves are worn.

What is the correct way of action, for example, in situations in which the same employee charges the customers and sells non-prepacked foods?

If hand washing and, when necessary, changing the protective gloves is not possible between the different activities, non-prepacked foods must not be touched by hand. Instead, separate serving utensils must be used, for example.

Glass and fork symbol

If you use protective gloves, they must be safe for food use. For instance, their food safety can be indicated with the symbol of a wine glass and a fork or by mentioning food use.

Also take into account that a variety of protective gloves are available and all food grade gloves are not automatically suitable for working with greasy foods. 

The intended use of the gloves and the conditions in which they can be used are indicated in the package labelling of the product or in the instructions for use. If you cannot find this information, check the matter with the supplier.

Page last updated 8/30/2023