The New Normal: Part of a new series of articles focused on restaurant recovery; issues, best practices and process changes that will become part of everyday business going forward.
As we begin to plan for the new realities faced by restaurants and foodservice workers, we need to begin to focus on what will need to change. One thing that will increase is glove usage. And while gloves are a good protective measure, we need to review best practices in removing gloves to avoid cross-contamination.
Best Practices for Glove Use
The FDA is fairly clear about its guidelines for avoiding cross-contamination in foodservice. In its revised Food Code 2017, the FDA states:
“Employees are preventing cross-contamination of ready-to-eat-food with bare hands by properly using suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment.”
As you can see, glove use is called out specifically. However, gloves can provide a false sense of security to workers. Gloves aren’t a magic bullet to preventing cross-contamination. They must be used properly. And more importantly, removing gloves properly is critical in preventing poor outcomes.
If you haven’t already, please take a moment to explore our full article on best practices for glove use in restaurants.
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Removing Gloves Properly
We wish that we could say that removing and disposing of single-use gloves is quick and easy. Unfortunately, it is probably going to take a little training and a little practice for your staff to learn the proper way to remove disposable gloves.
The good news is that it is easy to learn and only involves a few simple steps. Let’s review each step in detail.
Pinch the base of the glove with your thumb and forefinger near the wrist. Get a good grip on the outside of the glove because you are going to use this grip to peel off the glove itself.
Peel the glove downward, turning it inside out as you go.
3) Remove & Hold
Completely remove the inside-out glove from the first hand. Hold it tightly balled up in your remaining gloved hand.
4) The Two Finger Slide
With your ungloved hand, slide two fingers inside the remaining glove at your wrist. Insert them reasonably far as you will be using this grip to peel the remaining glove. Try not to touch the outside of the remaining glove.
5) Peel Again
Peel the glove downward from the wrist using the two fingers you inserted in the previous step. Again, try not to touch the outside of the remaining glove. As you peel, let the glove turn inside out as it becomes a bag for the first glove that you are still holding.
6) Inside Out & Throw Away
Completely peel away the remaining glove until it covers the first glove and is completely inside out. You should only be touching the inside of the removed gloves at this point. And you should properly dispose of the gloves in an appropriate container.
Want these instructions so you can print and display them for your employees to reference? Please download the PDF version below or click on the “Print” icon at the top of this page to print this entire article.
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Train & Practice
This technique doesn’t come naturally to most workers. They really need to be trained to do this properly. Using disposable gloves incorrectly can be just as bad as not using gloves at all. And in some cases, it can be worse because workers may incorrectly feel as though they are being safe simply by wearing gloves. However, by not following best practices in glove removal, they may expose themselves and their customers to increased risks.
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