Proper Use of Gloves

The prohibition of bare hand contact of ready-to-eat food is a standard requirement in food safety regulations. This does not mean that food handlers are required to wear gloves all of the time. The Chester County Food Code states:
"Except when washing fruits and vegetables as specified in §300.285 (relating to washing raw fruits and vegetables) or when approved in accordance with subsection (d), food employees may not contact exposed, ready-to-eat food with their bare hands, and shall use suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves or dispens­ing equipment."
The use of plastic gloves while operating a hot grill can be a safety hazard. For example, when making grilled sandwiches, it is safer to use deli waxed sheets rather than wearing gloves which cause the hands to sweat and may cause a severe burn if the glove accidentally comes in contact with the grill and melts onto the skin.

One common violation found during inspections is the wearing of gloves without first washing hands. The regulations state:
"Food employees shall clean their hands and exposed portions of their arms…before donning gloves for working with food. "Gloves are meant to be part of a practice to break the chain of possible contamination, and must be used in conjunction with hand washing for their proper use."
Washing Your Hands
Proper use of gloves includes always washing your hands before putting on gloves. Also, gloves need to be changed every time you:
  • Wash your hands
  • Touch your body
  • Use the toilet
  • After eating, drinking, or smoking
  • After handling dirty equipment or utensils
  • After handling raw food of animal origin
  • After handling unwashed fruits or vegetables
  • After any other activities that contaminate your gloves
Combining hand washing and proper use of utensils or gloves will help reduce the risk of food borne illness. The health of your customers is in your hands.