December 18, 2018

‘Glove Juice’ risk greatly reduced by proper hand sanitation

In many food processing facilities, employees wear gloves during production or when handling ready-to-eat foods to help reduce the risk of cross-contamination. However, gloves can also produce something called, “Glove Juice.” Glove Juice is a term used for the bacteria-rich moisture that can form inside rubber work gloves when proper hand hygiene procedures are not followed prior to gloving.

Encased in the rubber glove, the hand gets warm, produces sweat and creates the ideal environment for bacteria to multiply. If gloves are torn or nicked while working, the contaminated glove juice can leak onto equipment, surfaces, and potentially even food products. Another instance where cross-contamination can occur is when the glove is removed and the worker touches food or equipment without properly washing their hands first, that same bacteria-laden moisture can immediately transfer contaminants from their hands to whatever they touch.

Gloves can be an important tool to prevent cross-contamination and if proper hand hygiene is practiced, the dangers presented by glove juice can be reduced. The key to controlling the risk presented by glove juice is to lower the number of pathogens on the hands before and after gloving. Correct hand washing is a good start, but to maximize pathogen reduction and minimize risk, sanitizing after hand washing will further decrease the colony forming units (CFUs), making it more difficult for the bacteria to recolonize and grow into a potential threat.

Washing, then sanitizing

To reduce the number of CFU’s, the first step is to properly wash hands with a quality hand soap, such as Best Sanitizers’ Alpet E1 Fragrance-Free Foam Soap. For added protection, a sanitizing soap like Alpet Q E2 Sanitizing Foam Soap can be used. Alpet Q E2 is an ideal foaming soap for all food processing environments. It’s engineered with a 0.12 percent Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC) formula, is NSF certified, Kosher, Pareve and Halal certified. Alpet Q E2 is formulated with emollients to keep skin healthy and is fragrance and dye free.

Hand washing is a great start to removing pathogens from the hands, but for maximum results, follow hand washing with hand sanitization. Sanitizing with a quality hand sanitizer, such as Best Sanitizers’ Alpet E3 Plus Hand Sanitizer Spray after hand washing will further diminish the colony forming units (CFUs), making it more difficult for the bacteria to recolonize and grow into a potential threat. Alpet E3 Plus is an atomized alcohol hand sanitizing formula. Its 71-percent Ethanol formula kills 99.9999 percent of 26 tested pathogens, greatly reducing the number of germs on the hands. It is NSF certified, Kosher, Pareve and Halal certified.

Once gloves are removed, repeat the practice of hand washing and hand sanitizing to remove the presence of any potential glove juice on your hands. This helps reduce the risk of cross-contamination from the hands once gloves are removed.

For maximum pathogen reduction after gloving, Best Sanitizers recommends sanitizing gloves with Alpet D2 or Alpet D2 Quat-Free Surface Sanitizer. Alpet D2 and Alpet D2 Quat-Free are widely known within the food processing industry as effective surface sanitizers. Both surface sanitizers have 60-second kill claims on food contact surfaces, including rubber gloves. They kill 99.999 percent of nine tested pathogens as a food contact surface sanitizer and are ideal for water sensitive equipment and low moisture environments.