Food Handling Gloves
What You Need To Know

When preparing or cooking food, food handling gloves are a good consideration. We expect the people working in restaurants to use gloves, right?

When you see someone at the cafe or deli making your sandwich or handling your pastry with bare hands, your first thought is might be  “I wonder where those hands have been, and when was the last time they were wasted?”

Proper hand washing and donning food handling gloves can really cut down on food borne pathogens and bacteria.

So, why aren't we as careful about our food handling practices at home? Yes, you know you wash them regularly.

Still, wearing gloves when preparing your food has several benefits that are definitely worth mentioning. If you are truly determined and want to save about $300 per month consider using our free Grocery411.com software to compare food prices here. 

Consider Exam or Latex Gloves

1. Wearing gloves keep your hands odor and stain free! No one wants their hands to smell like garlic or onions for days. And, what about those horrible red or blue stains that working with berries can leave behind? When you wear good food handling gloves, you can just slip them off and your hands will still smell fresh and clean. This is especially important if you have a job that involves working with people, such as nursing or teaching

2. Wearing gloves protects your hands. If you have any cuts or wounds – even a small paper cut or hang nail food can sneak in and cause pain or infection.

Gloves will act as a barrier to keep your hands clean so any wounds can heal faster. They will also keep food from getting under your nails, which can be unattractive and carry and odor!

3. Wearing gloves can protect you from illness. Raw foods, especially meat like chicken and unwashed produce, contain a lot of germs and bacteria that occasionally carry diseases and illnesses.

Even when you wash your hand thoroughly, some of these germs can still be left behind or settle under your nails. So, the best way to protect yourself from these nasty parasites is to wear gloves.


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4. Wearing gloves can protect the food. As mentioned, even when you wash your hands regularly, they can still carry a lot of germs and bacteria. After all, your hands touch a lot of things throughout the day.

So, when working with food that is already prepared, it is wise to put on a pair. They may seem a little inconvenient to use when you are arranging a tray of baked goods for a dinner party or chopping veggies for a salad.

But if we expect someone at a restaurant to do it, maybe it is not such a bad idea to incorporate this practice at home as well. That way, you won't be spreading any germs to the food, family or your guests.

5. Wearing gloves can protect your manicure. There is nothing more frustrating than nicking your nail with a vegetable peeler and ruining a perfectly good manicure.

Not to mention the fact that the missing piece of nail polish may have fallen into whatever you are preparing. Now, that's not a tasty thought! Protect your investment, yourself and your food, by wearing gloves when preparing meals.

Food Handling Gloves 101

Of course, using gloves should not replace good hand washing practices. And, even though you are wearing them when handling food, you should still wash your hands before putting them on.

After all, if you handle your gloves with dirty hands, you have already transferred germs and bacteria before you even begin!

Also, remember to change them if they become dirty or torn, and always put on a new pair for each food task. You don't want to use the same gloves for both skinning chicken and making a batch of brownies.

So, now you know that you need clean, odor free hands to protect the food, yourself, and others. The question is, “Which gloves do you use?”

Over the years, I have tried exam/latex gloves like the ones used at hospitals for cooking or messy cleaning jobs. They are disposable and fit well, but are also quite expensive about a dime a pair. If you are trying to save money and cut your food costs, then you probably want to avoid adding costly gloves to your budget.

In searching for hand cleanliness and protection options, I may have found a frugal, yet suitable alternative. Clean Ones is a company that manufactures a more affordable brand of food handling gloves that can be purchased at major stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of gloves, so you really have decide what is best for your food handling needs.

Let's Compare the Food Handling Gloves

Fit: Exam/Latex gloves fit great and stay in place, although they are sometimes difficult to pull on, especially if your hands are slightly damp from washing. But give them a good pull and they will pop right on.  

Clean Ones, on the other hand, slide on easily but are a oversize rather sloppy fit and will move around, especially if you have petite hands.

Ease of Use: Exam/Latex gloves fit snugly and lend themselves nicely to fine motor or finger activities, so it is easy to cut up tiny foods such as garlic or shallots.

Clean Ones extend well past the wrist, provide good coverage, and have an embossed surface to ensure a secure grasp of foods, jars, and cans. However, since they are a “one size fits all”, they can make preparing some foods very difficult, depending on the size of your hands and how well the gloves fit.

Regulation: Both types of gloves are approved for food handling and comply with FDA regulations.

Cost: The exam gloves from Sam's and Costco will cost about one dime per pair. Yes, they fit great but they are definitely quite expensive for daily use.

However, Clean Ones food handling gloves are about $10.29 for 2000. That's a penny a pair! Wow, one cent compared to $0.10 is a huge difference, especially for a product that you will be buying regularly.

Buying Food Handling Gloves The Details

Size: Exam gloves come in sizes extra-small to extra-large; poly gloves are typically one size fits all.

Powder: Some exam gloves have a corn starch powder for ease of donning the glove.

Ambidextrous: means the glove can be donned on either hand right or left

Thickness: thickness equals durability while cooking. Gloves range from 0.2 to 12.5 millimeter in thickness.

Latex: less expensive alternate if you have no allergies to latex.

Nitrile: gloves made from nitrile rubber very easy to slide on, more durable and offer great protection.

Vinyl: Just so you know the vinyl and poly when used as food handling gloves may tear or rip a bit more easily. 

Polyethelene: or “poly” gloves are what most restaurateurs wear. Usually are a very thin least expensive alternate for high turn glove over.

So, What's the Answer?

Excuse the pun, but have them both on hand! If you are preparing quick meals, separating bulk meats and foods, or doing tasks that do not require a lot of dexterity and fine motor skills, then save money and use the less expensive gloves.

Also, since changing gloves between food preparation tasks is suggested, Clean Ones are a great choice when doing something that requires working with several different types of foods. If you are preparing a special meal or doing a lot of fine chopping, then you may find it easier to use the exam/latex gloves.

Now you have all the information you need. So, have fun shopping, cooking safe, healthy foods, and of course, saving money by comparing grocery prices here a Grocery411.com. 

Proper Hand Washing Technique

Excuse the pun, but have them both on hand! If you are preparing quick meals, separating bulk meats and foods, or doing tasks that do not require a lot of dexterity and fine motor skills, then save money and use the less expensive gloves.

Also, since changing gloves between food preparation tasks is suggested, Clean Ones are a great choice when doing something that requires working with several different types of foods. If you are preparing a special meal or doing a lot of fine chopping, then you may find it easier to use the exam/latex gloves.

Now you have all the information you need. So, have fun shopping, cooking safe, healthy foods, and of course, saving money by comparing grocery prices here a Grocery411.com. 

Prior to wearing your new food handling gloves place your hands under running water warm or cold to wet them well. Rub on the soap into your palms, between fingers and tips of nails well. The key is the rubbing or the friction the friction and running water is what removes germs and debris.

Sing the song Happy Birthday twice or wash your hands for 20 plus seconds. Turn off the facet with your hand towel or wrists. Lastly Dry your hands with a clean towel.

Hand washing in your kitchen is best done before and after handling food. Updates on proper hand washing can be found at the Center of Disease Control (CDC).

A good pair of gloves in the kitchen goes a long way to prevent germs, and reduce odors left by strong smelling foods. Once you find the right design of food handling gloves your will never be without them again. You just have to find the ones which are right for your ‘tastes.’

More Money Saving Tips

  • Visit our how to store your food page as well!
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