Glove Contamination Risks Exposed

Article Summary

In a groundbreaking Journal of Food Protection article*, evidence based studies of direct physical, chemical and microbiological glove contamination affecting food and healthcare industries, consumers and patients, as well as glove wearers are reported. It is widely assumed when gloves meet FDA compliance standards they are safe for use and free from chemical and microbial contamination, however current glove manufacturing standards and testing requirements appear inadequate, and allow for potential contamination and public health issues.

This peer reviewed article highlights scientific reports of toxicity, illness and deaths related to glove contamination; how these occur in food and medical supply chains, and why informed glove procurement decisions are necessary to avoid future contamination issues. 

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glove contamination

Article Excerpts

Microbial Contamination

“Frank and opportunistic pathogens were identified on tested gloves, including recognized fecal indicators, enterotoxigenic strains of Bacillus cereus and B. anthracis, (...) Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridoides difficile, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Streptococcus pneumoniae, isolated from unused, disposable gloves.”*

Chemical Contamination

“...gloves have been identified as sources of potentially toxic, poisonous and deleterious chemicals that can be introduced into food, and cause dermal (skin) problems via solubilization of glove chemicals within gloves via sweat.”*

Physical Contamination

“with (...) punctures in new, unused gloves, that can develop into significant rips and tears, not only can direct physical food contamination occur, but chemical and microbiological contamination can find their way into food.”*

Incorporating Gloves into HACCP

“With their (gloves) treatment as simple consumable commodities by food industry procurement staff, there is a lack of validation or verification of safe and acceptable performance that should be pre-requisite program elements in adherence to HACCP and FSMA principles.”*


Find out how Eagle’s traceable supply chain—including our unique proprietary Delta Zero™ glove verification testing—ensures Eagle gloves meet the highest standards of glove safety and safeguard against contamination. The only gloves to be independently tested and verified in the U.S.

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Article Creator & Attribution Parties:

*Michaels, B.S., Ayers, T., Brooks-McLaughlin, J., McLaughlin, R.J., Sandoval-Warren, K., Schlenker, C., Ronaldson, L., Ardagh, S., 
Potential for Glove Risk Amplification via Direct Physical, Chemical, and Microbiological Contamination. 
Journal of Food Protection (2024) doi: