KNOW THE FACTS. STOP THE SPREAD.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced the world to urgently review and evaluate hand hygiene and hand protection from the highly contagious virus.
1. PURCHASING DURING THE PANDEMIC AND BEYOND
COVID-19 has put immense pressure on the global personal protective equipment (PPE) supply. Demand for specific PPE products, including single-use gloves, has skyrocketed since March this year, to meet spikes in cases and hospitalisation. Global demand for gloves is putting continued pressure on manufacturers as they work at absolute capacity, with the subsequent lack of glove supply leading to quality issues and social, economic and environmental risks:
1. Reject and counterfeit gloves sold by dealers
2. Labor exploitation at glove factories
3. The Environmental impact of Covid PPE waste
4. Glove price increases, affecting end users.
2. GLOVE SURVIVAL TIPS
If your disposable gloves are in short supply, here are some survival tips to help maintain operations, without sacrificing food safety, until you're able to source your usual glove supplies.
Glove Shortage (Food Contact Workers):
Food Contact Workers
- Ready-to-eat food handlers and cooks should wear good quality, preferably nitrile gloves
- It is possible to extend the use of gloves without changing them only if you continue to work in the same department, handle the same food groups and do not touch any surfaces outside the food contact zone
Non-Food Contact Workers
- Non-Food contact workers could wash or sanitise hands instead of wearing gloves
- Non-Food contact workers (cashier, stockers, cart collection, baggers, loading dock) can reuse thicker (6-8 mil) gloves for a full work day, and sanitise gloves between tasks
NOTE: All gloves must be discarded if tears or holes are visible. The use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers may degrade vinyl gloves. Options above are ideas only if gloves are in short supply, please consult your food safety authority for specific regulations.
3. HAND HYGIENE
Proper hand hygiene, which includes effective hand-washing, is crucial to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- How to Wash Your Hands Properly: A Step by Step Handwashing Guide (Ministry of Health)
- Why hand hygiene is essential for food safety (Eagle Protect)
4. GLOVES HELP STOP CONTAMINATION
Eagle Protect has over 14 years of experience sourcing disposable gloves and clothing. Social distancing is necessary, but food safety and public health hinges on workers hand hygiene and glove management; correct glove type selection and use, including dispensing, glove change frequency and disposal.
5. BEST PRACTICES FOR BUSINESSES
These best practices from the Ministry of Health and NZFSSRC will help prepare and protect your business and workers through these unprecedented times.
- COVID-19 Information for New Zealand Food Industry (New Zealand Food Safety Science & Research Centre)
- Advice for essential workers, including personal protective equipment (Ministry of Health)
- Business Toolkit (New Zealand Government)