In addition to food facilities having requirements for handwashing, 78% of respondents stated that they require the use of gloves. However, those requirements for who must wear gloves and where and when they must be worn vary between businesses (Figure 11). The most common requirement is that any employees who contact the food itself are required to wear gloves (85%), and close to half of those who require gloves mandate them of all employees in the processing area (41%).
In some cases, visitors also must don gloves, particularly those who have polished nails or do not remove rings (30%); and about a fifth (17%) require that all visitors in the processing area wear gloves.
While it may seem duplicative to wash hands if gloves are to be worn, it is in fact a regulation that this be done. As stated in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, Part 112, hygienic practices of personnel who handle (contact) covered produce or food contact surfaces include “washing hands thoroughly…before putting on gloves.” Not only do 93% of respondents follow that practice, but 31% of those also require that hands be washed after the wearing of gloves as well (Figure 12).
However, the Conference for Food Protection has clarified that this does not mean hands must be washed every time gloves are changed even when performing the same task. Rather, employees should be allowed to change gloves without having to wash their hands when they are performing the same task without increased risk of cross-contamination and when handling raw food and not increasing the risk of cross-contamination with RTE foods or clean food contact surfaces. ?