Are you wondering what gloves are best for food prep? Or maybe, can you handle food with nitrile gloves? Our comprehensive guide to disposable gloves will help you answer these questions and more so you can find the best gloves for your business.
Types of Disposable Gloves and Their Uses
Poly gloves are very thin and made for light-duty tasks. They are also very economical and great for food use when workers are constantly changing gloves between prep tasks.
If you are looking for an incredibly versatile type of gloves, latex is a great choice. While it does contain a protein that can cause allergic reactions in some people, this material is useful for nearly any application other than high risk uses.
Flexible, heat-resistant, and sometimes available with a flock lining, neoprene gloves are thick and reusable. They are perfect for high risk applications, dishwashing, wet handling, and more.
Made for food service, vinyl gloves are comfortable, safe, and latex-free. They can be used for general tasks, food prep, cooking, serving, or even non-high-risk janitorial work.
Perhaps the most versatile gloves, nitrile gloves come in a variety of thicknesses and types from 3 mil thick foodservice gloves to 6 mil thick industrial gloves. They can be used for nearly any task, and are also available in a low dermatitis style.
Choosing Food Handling Gloves
What Are Food Grade Gloves?
Food grade gloves contain materials that are generally considered safe for use with food and food packaging. Many types of gloves fit this description, but nitrile is a great material choice because it is strong and free of contaminants and additives.
Advantages of Powdered Gloves
Powder helps to reduce friction and sticking in gloves, making them easy to put on and take off when workers need to quickly change gloves. Plus, they are more resistant to tears and rips due to the reduced friction. Even though the powder itself is simply cornstarch, you will probably not want to choose powdered gloves for food applications due to the high potential for contamination.
Advantages of Powder-Free Gloves
The main benefit of powder-free gloves is that they will not leave a messy residue on workers' hands or on equipment - a necessity in most medical and foodservice settings. When determining what kind of gloves are food safe, you will typically want to go with powder-free varieties due to reduced risk of contamination. Many new types of powder-free gloves are
becoming just as easy to slip on and off as their powdered counterparts, so the trade-off is minimal.
There are many benefits to using latex gloves. They can be used for most applications and are very economical, but they also contain a protein that people are sensitive to.
- Natural, biodegradable material made from rubber
- Super elastic, strong material
- Snug fit
- Greater comfort and tactile sensitivity than neoprene
- Safe for extended use
- More expensive than vinyl alternatives
- May cause allergic reactions
In order to protect people with latex allergies, having an alternative to latex gloves in your food service establishment may be a necessity. Some alternatives include:
Nitrile: Some of our top rated food safe rubber gloves, nitrile gloves are strong but thin and offer great tactile sensitivity. Allergen, latex, and powder-free varieties are available to fit your business's needs.
Neoprene: If you are looking for great protection against chemicals, acids, and other harsh substances without the potential allergens, these are a great option. Most neoprene gloves are reusable.
Polyethylene: For light-duty tasks and fresh food prep, poly gloves are an economical and allergen-free choice.
Vinyl: Vinyl gloves are comfortable for short-term use, make excellent food handling gloves, and don't contain latex.