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Issue Number: Council III 010


HHC-3 Recommended Foodservice Glove Language Changes to the Food Code

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

The CFP Hand Hygiene Committee (HHC) was charged with determining what glove criteria or standards would need to be met for a glove to be considered a utensil and not require handwashing before donning. The HHC was also charged with determining if/when double gloving procedures would be acceptable without an additional handwash.

In the current Food Code, single-service glove is included under the definition of a utensil, but is not itself defined. The HHC identified various types of gloves used in retail food service (e.g., tightly fit, loose fit, loose fit mitts) as well as equipment and emerging processes that could allow for donning and removing a secondary glove(s) without contamination of the hands or previously-donned gloves. The HHC also identified there was a difference between gloves used solely as a barrier to bare-hand contact versus use as a secondary barrier to prevent contamination of hands/gloves when touching contaminated items such as raw animal foods. The HHC identified specific areas in the FDA Food Code where amendments and definitions can provide further clarity to regulators and retail food stakeholders. Prevention of cross-contamination is essential in foodservice, and explicitness in the Food Code can help reduce potential risk.

Public Health Significance

The main purpose of washing hands is to cleanse the hands of soil, pathogens and chemicals that can potentially cause disease. Transmission of pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasites to food from contaminated surfaces, raw food, or ill workers by way of improperly washed hands continues to be a major factor in the spread of foodborne illnesses.

Regulators and retail foodservice stakeholders reference the FDA Code for guidance and clarity on appropriate approaches for removal or reduction of potential pathogens from hands. Therefore, the FDA Code should be inclusive of clarifying language to assure the reader understands intent.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a letter be sent to the FDA requesting the 2013 Food Code be amended as follows (using underlining for additions and strike through for language deletion):

1. Add a definition for "foodservice glove"

"Foodservice Glove" means a non-porous, SINGLE-USE covering worn over the front and back of the hand during FOOD preparation or service, with the intention of preventing cross-contamination.

2. Add a provision for a double-glove procedure to the 2013 FDA Food Code:

The use of a loose-fit FOODSERVICE GLOVE - used over or in addition to a FOODSERVICE GLOVE for the purposes of allowing a FOOD EMPLOYEE to switch tasks without a necessary FOODSERVICE GLOVE change or handwashing. The loose-fit FOODSERVICE GLOVE must be capable of being removed or disposed of without contamination to the primary FOODSERVICE GLOVE, hands or forearms.

3. Amend Section 2-301.14(G) "When to Wash" to allow for a handwashing exception during the double gloving procedure when no hand or glove contamination has occurred.

4. Replace the term "soiled equipment" in 2-301.14 (E) with "contaminated equipment" and change the food code language of "changing tasks" in 2-301.14(F) to "switching from raw to RTE foods" as follows:

2-301.14 When to Wash.

Food employees shall clean their hands and exposed portions of their arms as specified under § 2-301.12 immediately before engaging in food preparation including working with exposed food, clean equipment and utensils, and unwrapped single-service and single-use articlesP and:

(E) After handling soiled contaminated equipment or utensils; P

(F) During food preparation, as often as necessary to remove soil and contamination and to prevent cross contamination when changing tasks switching from RAW to READY-TO-EAT foods; P

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