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Issue Number: Council III 018


Clarify hand washing requirement when donning gloves

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

The 2013 FDA Food Code section 2-301.14 (H) requires hand washing before donning disposable gloves. This requirement does not differentiate the use of disposable gloves for ready-to-eat foods from dedicated disposable gloves used for working with raw meat, poultry or fish products. Some food establishments require their food handlers to wear dedicated (and often colored) disposable gloves when working with raw products to prevent the hands from directly touching the raw food and serve as a barrier between the food and the hands. In this case, the disposable glove is acting like a utensil to prevent bare hand contact with raw foods and prevent cross contamination. The gloves are removed and discarded after completing the raw product handling task. There is no need to require hand washing immediately before donning disposable gloves that will be worn to handle raw food products.

Public Health Significance

Washing hands before donning disposable gloves for working with raw meat, poultry or fish products provides no food safety benefit since the raw food products will be cooked to ensure food safety. The purpose of wearing disposable gloves when working with raw foods is to prevent the hands from getting contaminated from the raw products. However, it does make sense to require handwashing before donning disposable gloves for working with cooked or ready-to-eat foods since in this case the food will not be cooked and the washing hands will help to further reduce the risk of human contamination of the food from hands.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a letter be sent to FDA requesting the 2013 Food Code be amended as follows (new language is in underline format):

2-301.14 When to Wash

(H) Before donning gloves to initiate a task that involves working with ready-to-eat FOOD and when changing tasks; P and

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