GLOVE SAFETY GAP

Why Delta Zero™?

The requirement for the FDA’s (21 CFR 177) glove compliance for food handling is limited, and rarely understood. It involves a single test completed on an infrequent basis by the factory, simply measuring the migration of gross extractable chemicals. After testing is passed, glove purchasers must trust the factory to continue manufacturing gloves to that specification - but this is easily abused. Astonishingly, the FDA Food Compliance testing does not measure glove cleanliness, pathogen load or the number of glove failures (holes).

On the other hand, the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) states that gloves handling food need to be clean, sanitary and intact. This disharmony or chasm between the GMP and FDA’s glove food compliance is a potentially dangerous Food Safety Gap, and one that Eagle Protect is ensuring against by enhanced preventive control testing.

Why Further Glove Testing Is Necessary To Enhance Glove Food Safety Standards.

Scientific evidence concludes glove cross-contamination is implicated in 16% of all foodborne outbreaks in the U.S.; single-use gloves are clearly a food safety risk. In 2016 Eagle Protect started developing its proprietary glove food safety analysis and standards to mitigate the potential risks of the Food Safety Gap. 

Included in Eagle Protect’s groundbreaking proprietary research, which uses independent third-party testing, is the examination of single-use glove-associated microbiomes.  

Eagle Protect tested over 2,800 disposable glove samples, representing 26 branded food and medical-grade varieties, resulting in the discovery of 260 unique viable (illness-causing) microbial species. 29 pathogen strains from 20 different species were found.

Common pathogens included Bacillus cereus, E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species, including various types of bacteria and fungi specific to fecal and oral origin. Organisms that lead to foodborne illness and spoilage, as well as skin infections to the glove wearer, were also discovered - traceable to human and animal (zoonotic) sources. 

The entire collection of identified microbes suggests that essential glove production controls can be absent, and single-use gloves can become vectors of disease for food handlers and consumers, as well as patients in healthcare environments.

How Do Pathogens Get On The Gloves?

Glove manufacturing is water-intensive, involving costly wash tanks heated to high temperatures, and factories tend to be located in areas of very poor water quality, contaminated with animal and human waste. Factories can save costs by reducing water temperatures, removing some wash tanks altogether or recycling dirty water. The use of putrid water sources and flaws in manufacturing allows for the survival of pathogens and fecal indicators, detrimental to both public health and the economies of food and healthcare applications.

Why Eagle Gloves Mitigate Glove Food Safety Risks

 

Read about Eagle Protect’s multi-layered Delta Zero glove analysis, consisting of a number of proprietary risk reduction steps.