This expression originated from the times when miners used to carry caged canaries while at work. If there was any methane or carbon monoxide in the mine, the canary would die before the levels of the gas reached those hazardous to humans…
Not too good for the canary, but an early warning or indication of danger for the miners!
WHAT DOES THAT GOT TO DO WITH DISPOSABLE GLOVES?
Across the globe, 2018 has so far seen a high level of recalls due to food contamination. It has been interesting as a food safety company to investigate the background of these foodborne illness outbreaks; identifying the contamination source is not easy and therefore the information we have is often anecdotal.
We're not passing this off as a scientific study, however, we do have very good scientific data that shows disposable gloves are implicated in 15-18% of all foodborne illness outbreaks.
We have a number of scientifically published papers identifying vinyl (PVC) disposable gloves as having a very high incidence of tears and holes after donning, an average of 52% of the gloves are damaged.
Vinyl disposable gloves are cheap and uncomfortable to wear. Fortunately, most food handling companies in NZ do not use them, often with the exception of the Fast Food industry and Aged Care. Studies have shown food handled by vinyl gloves can be contaminated with phthalates and BPA from the PVC, causing adverse health effects; the very reason Japan banned the use of vinyl food handling gloves in 2001.
DISPOSABLE GLOVES ARE IMPLICATED IN 15-18% OF ALL FOODBORNE ILLNESS OUTBREAKS.
A disposable glove to someone who wears it for hours a day is a tool of their trade. If you give your workers a cheap, uncomfortable, poor quality disposable glove, is it the glove that fails, or is it the fact that they witness your lack in care and they emulate it, or maybe both?
"I am obviously focused in this area, but if I walk into a supermarket or restaurant and see vinyl gloves, I assume the worst; that the food safety team doesn't care, or worse, they have left it to procurement to make the decisions on gloves. I eat elsewhere! For me, it is the canary in the coal mine!" - Steve Ardagh, CEO.