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Nitrile Gloves Reduce Listeria And Norovirus Risk

New Formulation Nitrile Gloves Reduce Listeria And Norovirus Risk

Accumulating evidence along with new research conducted by international scientific food safety and glove consultant Barry Michaels, in association with Eagle Protect, a supplier of disposable products in both the US and New Zealand, has found disposable glove choices may significantly contribute to the spread of Listeria, Norovirus and other hand/glove transmitted pathogens in food processing and clinical situations.

Eagle Protect nitrile gloves tested had surface free energy and transfer characteristics similar to Teflon®, due to quality raw material formulation and manufacturing processes. Bacteria and microorganisms did not stick well to these gloves, reducing the risks of potential pathogen cross-contamination.

In comparison, vinyl (PVC) gloves were found to be up to three times more likely to spread bacteria due to their physico-chemical characteristics than the nitrile gloves tested. The study compared the surface free energy of gloves and their propensity to pick up and transfer soils (contaminants) between products, gloved hands and surfaces.

"With vinyl disposable gloves commonly used in aged care and fast food in New Zealand, the glove suppliers are potentially ignoring a major food safety and health risk by not considering the implications of careful and educated glove choice," said Steve Ardagh CEO of Eagle Protect.

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As a result of his work, Michaels commented, "Health and Safety managers are gambling with the odds of a Listeria monocytogenes or Norovirus outbreak or some other extreme event if they do not look at the science involving bacterial transfer and disposable gloves. Conditions for cross-contamination can be disrupted by making scientifically based, safe glove selection choices."

"In the food industries, while considerable and careful care is given to food origin and processing, it seems little concern is given to the product that touches food last - the glove!" Ardagh added. “Aged Care is another area of concern in terms of glove choice based on the right reasons.”

Cross-contamination involving Listeria and other hand/glove transmitted pathogens is no accident. Eagle's ongoing scientific research can help NZ’s industries incorporate these findings into their hand hygiene and food safety practices to lower their risk of adverse cross-contamination events.

Eagle Protect is dedicated to the education of safe glove use, and supplying certified safe gloves to reduce glove related cross-contamination.

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