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      From The Nest — Food

      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.

      What Touches your Product?

      If you care about your food product, do you know what touches it?

      "I am not a scientist and I am no expert on PVC, plasticizers or BPA. But, what I am an expert on, is our gloves. I am involved every day with the sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution of gloves to some very large (and small) food processing facilities. They rely on us to get it right for them and keep their staff, product, customers and reputation safe. We have been helping them stay safe for over 15 years." - Steve Ardagh, CEO & Founder of Eagle Protect.

      Often companies selling disposable gloves or protective clothing know very little about these products, the raw materials used in their production and where they are manufactured; many don’t even care! If transparency is an important value in your business then you need to know about your disposable gloves & protective clothing. With the advent of food safety standards being introduced in overseas markets, transparency in the supply chain is becoming vital to your business. This includes knowledge from your suppliers about the products which are handling your food.

      Are Vinyl Gloves Safe To Use?

      It is concerning that despite documented and substantiated studies advising against the use of PVC or vinyl gloves, that some food processors and foodservice businesses still use these gloves. There can be some serious risks with vinyl gloves:

      • They are permeable under normal operating stress and can allow bacteria and virus to pass through micro tears created on donning or use. Contact us for scientific papers and studies on this.
      • They may contain BPA - especially if they seem remarkably cheap!
      • They will very likely contain some variation of Phthalates - some of which are noted in California Proposition 65 - e.g. DBP, BBP, DINP, DnHP and DEHP.*
      • These compounds are mostly soluble in fat and are not bound to the glove molecule - so migrate onto the food quite easily.

      Our challenge to you is that if you are not prepared to drink from a plastic bottle containing BPA then don’t allow your food product to be handled by vinyl gloves. There is, of course, plenty of literature that defends the use of these Phthalates and BPA claiming that they are not harmful in the levels that could be leached from a PE bottle or a PVC glove for example. But, most of us are still pretty nervous about this.

      Steve viewing the manufacturing process at a glove supplier.

      Eagle can help you

      We are happy to discuss and advise (without obligation to buy Eagle gloves) on what we think are the best glove options are for your particular facility. As a Certified BCorp (Class of 2012), we are bound by our values and mission to (as our byline says), offer protection for a busy dirty world. Protection for your company, your staff, your customers and your reputation!

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


      1. If deemed necessary we stock and recommend Vinyl gloves only for intermittent or no direct food contact and no contact at all with fatty or oily foods. These gloves should NOT be used in medical/dental situations. Eagle gloves are tested and fully pass the California Proposition 65 requirements – important if you are exporting to the US.
      2. *Phthalates and BPA are chemical compounds that appear in solvents, plasticizers and common household products. See here for more information, or google phthalates.

      Are Vinyl Gloves Really Food Safe?

      Up to 50% of Vinyl disposable gloves are made up of plasticisers, which make the PVC(Polyvinyl chloride) flexible and soft enough to wear, due to their molecular structure. Often plasticisers contain phthalates and BPA as they are inexpensive. Therefore to reduce cost, many Vinyl gloves contain the phthalate plasticisers DINP (Diisononyl phthalate) and DEHP di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Both DiNP and DEHP have been found to adversely impact human health and have been added to the Californian Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer.

      DEHP is under much scrutiny for its toxicity. Exposure to DEHP has been associated with adverse reproductive, neurobehavioral, and respiratory outcomes in children (Braun et al, 2013; Ejaredar at al 2015) and metabolic disease risk factors such as insulin resistance in adolescents and adults (James-Todd e al. 2012; Trasande and Attina 2015). Diet is believed to be the main source of DEHP and other phthalates in the general population - phthalates have been shown to leach from products into the human body via ingestion, inhalation and dermal absorption (Zota et al, 2015). Because phthalate plasticisers are not chemically bound to PVC, they can easily leach and evaporate into food, particularly fatty foods such as butter, oils, and meat – where they become mostly soluble.

      In one study by Serrano et al. 2014, foods high in fat such as dairy and meat were found to be more contaminated by high-molecular-weight phthalates that are more lipophilic, such as DEHP. Studies conducted in Japan found that use of disposable PVC gloves during the preparation and packaging of meals was a major source of dietary intake of DEHP (Tsumura et al 2001a). The same study also demonstrated a decline in DEHP levels in prepared meals after the ban of DEHP in PVC gloves in Japan (Tsumura et al 2003).

      Food is likely contaminated with phthalates and BPA during processing (Cao 2010; Geens et al 2012) from PVC in materials such as PVC (Vinyl) gloves and food packaging materials (Cao 2010; Serrano et al. 2014), which leads to major food safety concerns. It is not surprising that Japan has banned PVC gloves for food handling due to the well-documented adverse effects on health.

      Shockingly, despite all this evidence, the use of Vinyl gloves in restaurants and food-handling facilities still remains common practice in the US, often due to historical glove choices and the incorrect perception that Vinyl gloves are a more cost effective option.

      We hope these studies will inform and change business and regulatory glove usage in the food preparation industry, and provide Consumers with the knowledge to make informed decisions and restaurant choices. Due to recent advances in the formulation and manufacturing of Nitrile gloves, they are becoming the more popular and cost effective choice of disposable gloves with food processors.

      Eagle Protect stocks a full range of Nitrile disposable glove alternatives.