Disposable Gloves

Fact Sheet Table of Contents

Why Use Disposable Gloves?

The correct use of gloves can afford a measure of food protection during preparation and service. Disposable gloves should be used when food handlers have a non-infected bandaged cut, scrape or burn on their hands. The gloves can protect the injury from contamination as well as protecting the food. Also, use of the gloves may be appropriate in food assembly when manual contact is unavoidable, such as sandwich, salad, and taco preparation.

Why the Concern?

If the disposable gloves are used incorrectly, then they can be contaminated, like your hands, with bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. The gloves will then become a source of food contamination.

Using disposable gloves require handlers to wash their hands more frequently. Bacteria will grow rapidly in the warm, moist environment created by the use of disposable gloves. The use of gloves should not be a substitute for proper handwashing practices.

What to do?

  • Hands must be thoroughly washed before applying gloves.
  • Change the gloves frequently when the gloves become soiled, torn or the task changes. At that point, remove and discard the gloves and then wash your hands.
  • Gloves must never be re-used or washed.

When stocking gloves in the facility, we recommend placing dispensers at hand sinks only. This will encourage food service workers to wash their hands prior to the use of gloves.