Food handling and contamination.
Improper handling of food and poor personal hygiene of food handlers are the leading causes of food borne illness. Norovirus, the pathogen responsible for the greatest number of reported food borne outbreaks is transmitted when hands are not washed. Anyone who works with food should know about this virus. Norovirus is sometimes referred to as the stomach flu.
Why use gloves?
Gloves can provide a barrier between hands and foods if they are worn properly. In addition to improved food safety, glove use also creates increased positive customer perceptions about the restaurant and foodservice cleanliness.
When and how are gloves used?
Simply wearing gloves is not the answer, however. Observational research has found improper glove
use can be as big a problem as poor hand hygiene. For gloves to provide an effective barrier between
food and food handler, hands should be properly washed (at least 10 seconds of lathering with
warm water and soap, then rinsed and dried with disposable towel or air dried) before putting gloves
on or changing gloves. Pathogens on hands can be transferred to the exterior of the gloves when gloves are removed from the box. Bacteria and other contaminants on the hands are now on the gloves and will be transferred to food upon contact.
Gloves should not be worn:
- Into the restroom or while using the restroom
- When handling money
- While performing cleaning tasks
- When handling trash or taking trash out
- While using a tissue
Gloves should be changed:
- When gloves become ripped or torn
- After touching anything that could be contaminated such as a refrigerator door or trash container
- Before handling different types of foods
- After coughing or sneezing