September is National Food Safety Education Month. This awareness campaign focuses on the importance of food safety and practices in helping to prevent food poisoning. Did you know that 1 in 10 people fall ill after eating contaminated food worldwide (WHO)?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) used in food handling and processing, is often overlooked in food safety and hygiene practices in this industry. In the US alone, gloves contamination is implicated in 16% of all food borne illnesses, equating ton average, 7 million foodborne illnesses, 450 deaths, and can cost companies up to US$30 million per year. Eagle Protect saw this as an opportunity to improve US food safety through the use of correct, ethically sourced PPE. We wanted to bring Eagle's New Zealand philosophy around the supply of ethically sourced, certified safe PPE to the US food processing and service sectors, while providing expert PPE knowledge gained from the New Zealand food processing industries.
A key part of that philosophy is educating Eagle’s End Users that a glove is not just a glove. “End Users should think about where the glove comes from, how it’s been made for food handling and is it safe for their workers to wear.” says Ardagh, Eagle Protects CEO & Founder. A product recall for the End User can be costly financially but also in brand reputation.
Another crucial piece of End User education is that ‘FDA compliance for food handling’ does not make disposable gloves food safe. Eagle Protect has partnered with internationally renowned microbiologist and food safety specialist, Barry Michaels, to lead the global glove industry in the scientific research of food compliant disposable gloves and their cross-contamination potential.
With Michaels help, we have developed our proprietary Fingerprint Glove Analysis testing for improved glove food safety, reducing the risks associated with physical, chemical and microbiological hazards of disposable gloves. These hazards have been identified as often present in disposable glove supply chains. This third-party testing independently verifies a range of Eagle gloves of consistent high quality, clean, and free from harmful toxins and pathogens, enhancing their customers’ food safety programmes and mitigating risk.
Being New Zealand’s founding and the world’s only Certified B Corporation® in our industry, we are on a mission to change the food industry one glove at a time, through ethical and transparent sourcing, environmental impact reduction and our proprietary Fingerprint Glove Analysis testing for improved glove food safety.