Following meeting the Company’s food safety representatives at the Food Safety Summit, Eagle began a commercial trial of their FineTOUGH nitrile gloves in both the butchery and deli departments of 8 west coast locations. Eagle’s research into the cross-contamination risks of disposable gloves alerted them to their current food safety procedural risks.
The company was losing 20-30% of all gloves due to ripping.....Butchers were also triple gloving because of this.
Through their own analysis, the Company determined it was then losing 20-30% of all gloves on donning due to ripping, depending on location in the butchery and deli departments. Additionally, a further 20% of gloves were ripping with usage. It was found that butchers throughout most locations were also triple gloving because of ripping - to avoid time spent washing hands and redonning new gloves.
Other unfavorable observations due to ripping gloves, including compromised food safety procedures, were:
- Gloves being dispensed from pockets - to avoid costly time walking to glove dispensing stations.
- Hands not being washed between frequent glove rips.
- Triple gloving increased musculoskeletal effort for workers and reduced dexterity.
- Excessive glove waste.
Eagle FineTOUGH nitrile gloves (2.6mil, indigo) were trialed for one month in both the butchery and deli departments. Results of the Eagle glove trial were:
- One pair of gloves was sufficient for all procedures
- Time wasted in changing ripped gloves was eliminated
- Extremely positive feedback from staff about the strength and durability of gloves, given their thickness
- Other departments were stealing the gloves intended for the trial, due to their better quality!
At the time in 2017, the Company was purchasing vinyl gloves at $1.60 per 100. Eagle FineTOUGH’s were $2.50 per 100, 56% more expensive. However, the monthly cost was unchanged, or even reduced, due to the Eagle glove's premium quality, leading to an immediate reduction in ripping and therefore usage reduction.
|Pre-trial Glove Costs (2017)
|Eagle Glove Cost (2017)
|1,000 cases vinyl gloves $16/case (1,000 gloves/case)
|450 cases FineTOUGH nitrile gloves $50/case (2,000 gloves/case)
|Total spend = $23,200
|Total spend = $22,000
Other Important Eagle Glove Benefits
Over and above the cost savings, Eagle gloves also provided immediate benefits to the Company:
Food Safety Procedures Enhanced:
- Dispensing gloves from glove boxes rather than pockets (violation of food safety procedures)
- Hand-washing protocols were followed, with glove changes only required during breaks or job rotations
- Recalls due to glove pieces found in food are unlikely
- Pathogen cross-contamination from dirty gloves is unlikely
Staff Efficiencies Improved:
- Increased time spent working rather than wasted changing gloves
- Softer, thinner gloves require less musculoskeletal effort which results in faster, more efficient working conditions
- No skin irritation from potential toxic raw materials in cheap gloves
Glove Waste Reduction:
- Reduced usage directly results in reduced glove waste
- No triple gloving is required, again reducing gloves used
Research has highlighted the food safety risks of gloves for many years. Recently, commercial recalls due to glove contamination further highlight why glove quality must be considered in food safety protocols. Focusing on glove cost alone has the potential to cause a company a costly recall and have a negative effect on their brand reputation. While this may seem like the best financial option on paper, it does not reduce monthly glove costs.