June 12, 2012

Is wearing gloves as hygienic as it is hyped?

Whenever you see a person, especially at a food counter with plastic gloves on, you naturally assume that the wearer is scrupulous about cleanliness. But is that the case? Whether you don gloves or use bare hands while handling food or during any such activity; it doesn't actually make much of a difference as far as hygiene is concerned.

plastic gloves food counter

Now consider this situation! If the counter person has a bad cold and sniffs and coughs into his gloves or if s/he plainly forgets to change the gloves after touching a dirty dish / surface or handling raw meat /sea-food /eggs, how will that be? S/he then goes around to toss a quick salad with the same dirty gloves. Now  this is even worse than if he had been bare-handed. Dirty gloves are a tad more bad than dirty hands. Though microbes can flourish in either setting, they tend to stick like glue on the gloves and are very difficult to wash off. On the other hand, most of the germs are flushed away after proper handwashing.

However gloves do offer the advantage of protecting the hands from fiery food substances such as chili pepper and the like or from harsh cleansers. So what should a glove wearer do?  Before donning gloves he should wash his hands thoroughly and dry them as well. Same thing should be done after removing them. A frequent change of plastic gloves while doing different tasks is highly essential. Strictly speaking, gloves aren't really necessary for those who keep their hands & nails meticulously clean and are very particular about hand hygiene. Clean bare hands are as good as clean plastic gloves. The next time around, if you spot a gloved hand at a food counter or at the dentist's don't be lulled into a false sense of security about the cleanliness of the wearer or the place.

(Guest Post by Smitha)



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4 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Gloves used in food preparation must be single-use; intact, with no tears or holes; and fit the user's hand snugly. Gloves must be replaced with a fresh pair at least every hour to allow the hands to stay dry, and stored and disposed of in a way that avoids contamination of the gloves or surrounding areas.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Christina12:24 PM

    Many people don't notice that the person making their food is also touching contaminated objects and surfaces while wearing the same pair of gloves.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous12:24 PM

    Each time a food handler that is wearing gloves touches a surface besides food, those gloves are contaminated whereas other barriers such as utensils don't touch other contaminated surfaces as often

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very nice article.Keep posting like these. thx 4 such a nice article.

    ReplyDelete

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