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      From The Nest

      Are Nitrile Gloves Latex-free?


      When we are asked, ‘Are nitrile gloves latex-free,’ the answer is ‘Yes!’
      Nitrile gloves are BPA, phthalate and latex-free. To see the difference between nitrile gloves and latex gloves (and vinyl), 
      check out this comparison chart below!


      Nitrile gloves can carry a very low allergy rate of less than 1% of users. Studies have shown that the chemical accelerators and other additives commonly used in the products of nitrile gloves, can cause allergies. To reduce the cost of glove manufacturing, more and cheaper additives and chemical fillers are added to the raw material, in turn causing allergies. But some nitrile gloves are now being manufactured without accelerator chemicals, such as Eagle Protect Sensitive Nitrile gloves. They have an allergy rate even closer to negligible!

      So when you ask, ‘Are nitrile gloves latex-free?’, the answer is ‘Yes,’ but when asked, “Do nitrile gloves contain accelerator chemicals?” the answer is a little more complicated.


      Nitrile is the superior material for today’s disposable gloves. Nitrile, also known as NBR, is a form of synthetic rubber with an unusually high resistance to oil, fuel and other chemicals. The more nitrile within the polymer, the greater the protection from oils, but the lower the flexibility.

      Historically, nitrile gloves have not had the level of “stretch” that is associated with latex gloves. Recently, advances in the formulation of nitrile gloves, such as in Eagle Protects Light & Tough gloves, have closed the gap between nitrile and latex to a minimal difference. Also, improved manufacturing techniques have lead to highly tactile, tough and flexible nitrile gloves with negligible allergy rates.


      Today, we are happy to announce that nitrile gloves are the most cost-effective food safety gloves to protect your employees, your customers and your business from the very real dangers of food contamination and evolving food safety regulation.

      Light & Tough Nitrile gloves are made using 30% less raw materials than standard disposable gloves (Eagle Protect sells these in blue and white!). They are thinner (while retaining their strength), allowing twice the normal amount of nitrile gloves to fit in a single box (200!). Along with reducing the amount of cardboard waste, water and fuel, more nitrile gloves per box mean more free storage space for restaurants, food manufacturers, and processors! 


      Eagle Protect supplies only the industry’s safest and most dependable products while shielding you from the dangers of those facilities that make you want to wash your hands before and after even touching a disposable glove! You won’t find more trustworthy product lines in the foodservice industry anywhere!


      Eagle Protect visits every single one of our suppliers regularly, rigorously verifying their product excellence, staff conditions, and environmental footprint to make sure they meet our Supplier Code of Conduct.

      This logo means Eagle Protect is recognized as a force for good in the industry. Eagle Protect is the world’s only B Corp certified supplier of disposable gloves and clothing and is proud to be New Zealand’s first B Corp Certified business.

      To learn more about the benefits of nitrile gloves and to take the first step in protecting your business from the dangers of poor quality disposable gloves and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), call one of our experts today.

      Do your Disposable Gloves comply to FDA Food Safety standards?

      Here's what you need to know when sourcing your FDA-compliant food safety disposable gloves:


      Food contact gloves are certified under FDA Title 21 CFR Part 177, which states that the components of the glove comply with the FDA regulations and the gloves consist of “Substances generally recognised as safe for use in food or food packaging.”

      However, the quality and safety of disposable gloves is limited to Letters of Compliance and Guarantee on the general make and model of the glove submitted for testing, not necessarily the glove you are holding in your hand.

      There are few controls required for glove manufacturing relating to the reliability of raw materials, manufacturing processes, and factory compliance. Opportunity also exists for deliberate or accidental contamination within the process.

      It, therefore, becomes possible for a glove manufacturer to achieve FDA Title 21 CFR Part 177 certification for a glove, then alter manufacturing practices, hygiene practices, and raw material content to save costs.  

      Are you certain the manufacturer of your disposable gloves is providing product consistency, and complying to FDA requirements?

      It is also worth noting that the terminology the USDA dictates is that the gloves are “accepted” not approved.


      What is often overlooked are the complementary regulations also listed under FDA Title 21 Part 110 - Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing or Holding Human Food. In particular, 110.10 Personnel (5) “Maintaining gloves, if they are used in food handling, in an intact, clean, and sanitary condition. The gloves should be of an impermeable material.”

      Let's focus in on a couple of terms listed in that mandate.


      What does this mean? "Sanitary" is not defined within the CFR, but the word "sanitise" is. “Sanitise means to adequately treat food-contact surfaces by a process that is effective in destroying vegetative cells of microorganisms of public health significance, and in substantially reducing numbers of other undesirable microorganisms, but without adversely affecting the product or its safety for the consumer.”

      Simply put, the surface needs to be cleared of germs and other food contaminants. Do gloves meet the same standards as other sanitised surfaces?


      A well-regarded study conducted in New Zealand under hospital conditions reported the following disturbing information on commercially available disposable nitrile gloves: “Environmental bacteria, particularly Bacillus species, were present on 31/38 (81.6%) of (disposable glove) samples.” (Source: Bacterial contamination of unused, disposable non-sterile gloves on a hospital orthopaedic ward.) 

      That is - over 80% of gloves on opening of the box were contaminated with bacteria. This may not be of danger, but is an implication of the sanitary conditions (or lack thereof) in the offshore glove production and packing facility.

      Note: Eagle Protect facilities are visited by Eagle personnel (not third party) regularly and an in-depth audit of facilities and process is performed under our Eagle Supplier Code of Conduct. Robust processes in these factories precludes the accumulation of environmental bacteria, which is generally enhanced by open storage or reduced glove cleaning at the later stages of the production cycle.



      The term "impermeable" is also not defined within the CFR.

      In many cases of US food preparation, processing and service Vinyl Gloves are the predominant glove choice because of cost alone.  There are now many international and US studies that provide proof of the variable permeability of Vinyl gloves – particularly regarding bacteria and virus penetration and permeation.  Here are a couple of findings that support this notion:

      “...after manipulation intended to simulate in-use conditions, vinyl gloves failed 12% to 61% of the time.” (source: In-use barrier integrity of gloves: Latex and nitrile superior to vinyl)

      "Polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride [Vinyl] gloves had failure rates of 40% and 22%, respectively. Following exposure to the common disinfectant, 70% ethanol, these failure rates increased to 94% and 56% for polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride gloves, respectively." (source: Virus penetration of examination gloves.)

      Many other studies confirm these findings of Vinyl gloves having variable and significant permeability to bacteria and virus under normal working conditions.

      To fully comply with FDA Title 21 Part 110, food handling, processing, and service facilities must firstly consider the origin of the gloves, i.e. whether they have come from clean and inspected factories.  Secondly, the type and quality of glove must also be considered... with the only clear choice being a Nitrile glove suited to the process being undertaken.


      Like any specialised field, when considering disposable gloves and other PPE, the food industry must turn to specialists within this field, such as Eagle Protect.  The New Zealand Food Industry turned to Eagle because, with over 50% of the country’s GDP reliant on food exports, it had to be right!

      This experience is now available to the US Food sector, where food service businesses face increased regulation, observance, and potential damage from food-borne illness outbreak and recalls.

      Eagle products are single-sourced, Fingerprint Checked* (FPC) and lot certified safe to ensure manufacturing and product consistency. You receive the same product, same raw material, and same manufacturing process every time.  

      Contact us now to sample our disposable gloves and PPE.


      Why Purchase Ethically Sourced Products?


      Gareth Brooks, our Chief Operating Officer and former field hockey Olympian, last visit to China was as an athlete at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, where fond memories of an outstanding event in a magnificent city came flooding back to him. However, some questions remain over a foul wind that blew through before their competition started. It put a halt to their training, with many players suffering from respiratory issues requiring medical assistance.

      After consulting with their team doctor, Gareth was prescribed a daily dose of 18 puffs on an inhaler to keep his airways open under exertion. He left the Doctors with the thought that years of preparation had come to this. Fortunately “cloud seeding” caused thunderstorms, which cleared the sky improving their respiratory issues, and it remained that way for the duration of the games.

      View from the Olympic Village before and after the thunderstorms 

      Almost nine years later, along with our Supply Chain Manager Martin Robinson, Gareth returned to China as COO for Eagle Protect, the World's only B Corp Certified business supplying disposable gloves and clothing. 


      Eagle has a commitment to our customers’ reputation to supply only ethically sourced products and we uphold our commitment through regular visits to our factories throughout the world. These visits allow us to verify product quality, staff conditions and their environmental footprint (standards outlined in our Eagle Supplier Code of Conduct) and recent journey towards Child Labor Free certification to a manufacturing level.

      This particular trip to China was to visit the manufacturers of Eagle Protect disposable clothing and nitrile disposable gloves, for our global food processing customers.

      The size and scale of these factories were impressive, and it was fantastic to see supplier initiatives such as free electric bike charging stations, healthy staff lunches, an optical scanner for sign-in and a real focus on safety and engagement as young people seek out ‘modern jobs’ off the factory floor.


      In contrast, Eagle did visit a potential supplier three hours from Beijing where the local authorities had given three days notice that pollution levels were too high; they were eventually closed for over a month, affecting staff and customers. Almost all factories in the area had been shut for two weeks with no indication of when they could re-open. 


      In this situation, product price is expected to increase as China continues to limit production or impose regulation to incentivize more sustainable and more costly manufacturing. Read more about how new pollution laws in China are affecting vinyl glove cost.

      Our decision was not to work with this supplier; an operator in our supply chain with poor environmental production does not meet Eagle’s environmental standards. Before partnering with any new suppliers, they must pass our rigorous Supplier Code of Conduct - a key part of our supply chain transparency.

      Suppliers must pass our rigorous Supplier Code of Conduct - a key part of our supply chain transparency


      Back at our headquarters once again, we’ve been reviewing our own social and environmental impact. Our Sustainability Report highlights the many ways we have been contributing to our community, as well as helping our suppliers and the environment. 

      At Eagle, we are always striving to make a sustainable and positive environmental impact that’s not detrimental to long-term sustainability or profitability. 

      With a focus on waste reduction and supplying certified food-safe disposable gloves and clothing, Eagle products will protect your food, your business, your staff and your customers.

      Contact us today to see how we can protect your brand.

      Vinyl Gloves, The Deadly Facts!

      Vinyl gloves are a cheap choice of protection for workers. Due to their molecular structure, there are associated risks that limit their performance and affect barrier protection - in comparison to latex and nitrile disposable gloves:

      1. Do not have comparable resistance to stretch and elongation –
      2. Break easily
      3. More holes occur in vinyl gloves during routine use
      4. Higher permeation of bacteria and virus
      5. Poor resistance to many chemicals
      6. Less flexible and elastic and do not fit well

      Studies have highlighted the greater permeability of vinyl gloves to bacteria and virus than natural rubber latex or nitrile gloves during use. Such permeability increases the risk of cross contamination between products or patients and the worker wearing the gloves.

      We stock a full range of Nitrile disposable glove alternatives to suit most needs. 

      How Safe Are Your Suppliers?

      Food scandals, quality control failure and the disaster of product recall could be fatal to your business. In addition to protecting your workers, Eagle’s disposable product range protects your food product.

      Being ethically sourced assures you your reputation will not be tarnished by the failure of the product or where the product comes come from. We visit our manufacturers regularly to guarantee product quality, manufacturing standards, staff conditions and environmental impact factors. Which other of your suppliers can say this?!


      The NZ Food industry is a major user of a range of Polyethylene (PE) based protective clothing - generally single use. Shockingly, there are no Food Contact requirements for this product range set by the NZ Food Safety Authority. This is based on the assumption that they are “intermittent contact,” and no regulation is required. Therefore the product composition or conditions of use statement is not required for these products as they are for PE packaging and Disposable Gloves. Eagle has taken the position that even though these products are termed “intermittent contact” they should, for the safety of the New Zealand Food Industry, still meet a Food Safe standard and as such we ensure that Eagle brand PE products meet the appropriate FDA or other Food Contact standards that are required for full contact materials. These certifications are available on request.


      Also, to help add value to your customers, the Eagle team offers detailed site audits to assess the use of disposable product range. The audits plan to reduce waste production and assess PPE fit and design, with alternative suggestions for a worker and food protection. Previous audits have reduced our customer’s product usage and therefore costs; with associated improvements in comfort and working conditions of workers wearing  PPE.

      Contact Kyle now 03 489 3760 to find out how our audits can help you.