Proactive vs. Reactive Food Safety

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it?

We can all agree periodic evaluations are beneficial, right? We review what we do well and where we have potential to improve. Opposite of a “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” attitude, it’s a step back from the busy day-to-day procedures to analyze the effectiveness of something.

Let’s apply the theory of periodic evaluations to a real world situation that isn’t an individual's performance. For instance, let’s take food safety procedures. Food safety is a complex task with many influencing factors, and companies benefit from periodic procedure and equipment reviews. Numerous factors, from manufacturing processes to sourced ingredients and sanitary conditions to equipment used, influence a business’ level of risk in food safety.

Often overlooked in food safety processes are disposable gloves. However, if you consider that over 15% of food service foodborne outbreaks implicate contaminated disposable gloves as a contributory factor*, with the risks associated with inferior disposable gloves being scientifically proven, your disposable gloves procurement requires evaluation.

Over 15% of food service foodborne outbreaks
implicate contaminated disposable gloves as a contributory factor.*

Evaluating Disposable Glove Selection & Use

Disposable gloves are the barrier between workers’ hands and the food (a major factor to consider). There are many types of disposable gloves: vinyl, latex, nitrile... How do you know you’re using the right one? Analyzing what type of glove is used for each task is good, but thinking beyond that to how the gloves were made and how they can affect the food they are handling is a necessity.

“‘Everything is fine at the moment,’ is not a food safety strategy, it is an invitation to disaster!”

- Barry Michaels

B. Michaels Group Inc. Consultants in Product Safety, Regulatory Affairs, Product Development and Related Microbiology/Toxicology


As outlined in the Disposable Glove & Risk Reduction in Food Processing** white paper by Barry Michaels, there are five categories of risk associated with using cheap disposable gloves to consider during food safety procedure evaluations and procurement.

Categories of Risk Associated with Using Cheap Disposable Gloves

  1. The glove manufacturing process - raw materials unqualified, inconsistent manufacturing processes and unknown factory conditions 
  2. Chemical and bioterrorism hazards - deliberate or accidental contamination of raw materials
  3. Food related adverse events - including toxic and chemical transfer to food
  4. Worker efficiency and turnover - including occupational skin disease and glove related injuries
  5. Environmental and waste issues - increased waste production due to increased glove failures 

Eagle Protect can proactively mitigate these risks to your business. Our gloves are single sourced and Delta Zero verified to ensure manufacturing and product consistency, rather than relying solely on packaging and paperwork from a supplier as proof of evidence.

Do your disposable glove food safety procedures need an assessment? Let us help. We offer onsite personal protective equipment (PPE) expertise and assessments on correct product selection and use.

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*CDC Environmental Health Service Study, 2004
**Contact us with questions about the Disposable Glove & Risk Reduction in Food Processing white paper.
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