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Title: Microbiological profiles of disposable gloves used for handling ready-to-eat foods
Authors: Selvaraj, Renuka
Cheng, Er Jun
Gan, Patrick
Oh, Jia Quan
Aung, Kyaw Thu
Keywords: Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Issue Date: 2023
Source: Selvaraj, R., Cheng, E. J., Gan, P., Oh, J. Q. & Aung, K. T. (2023). Microbiological profiles of disposable gloves used for handling ready-to-eat foods. Journal of Food Protection, 86(11), 100146-.
Journal: Journal of Food Protection 
Abstract: Hand hygiene is critical in the food service industry. Bacteria can easily be transferred between different surfaces to food during food preparation. Common hygiene practices include hand washing and usage of disposable gloves. Food handlers are often susceptible to transferring pathogenic bacteria to food, thus proper hand hygiene can limit such transmission. While gloves serve as a barrier between bare hands and food, their misuse, including reuse or lack of change, can potentially result in cross-contamination, compromising on food safety. In Singapore, strict regulations and consumer perceptions have encouraged the use of gloves in food handling. This study assessed the microbiological profile of gloves used by food handlers across fifty randomly chosen food establishments, by swabbing samples from the inner and outer surfaces of gloves. Glove samples were also subjected to a watertight test to detect significant physical damage. The results revealed that gloves with damage exhibited significantly higher mean Standard Plate Counts (SPCs), suggesting the likelihood that damaged gloves promoted the transfer of bacteria. Damaged gloves used to handle certain types of food, like noodles and rice dishes, also had significantly higher mean SPC than those used for beverages and snacks. However, gloves without visible damage showed no significant difference in mean SPC across different food types. The study highlighted that proper glove use can help in preventing bacterial transfer and consequently, maintaining food safety. Regular glove changes, particularly when damaged, are imperative. The findings underscore the importance of proper glove use in conjunction with other hand hygiene practices to uphold food hygiene and safety standards.
ISSN: 0362-028X
DOI: 10.1016/j.jfp.2023.100146
Schools: School of Biological Sciences 
Organisations: Singapore Food Agency 
Rights: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of International Association for Food Protection. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SBS Journal Articles

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