Handwashing and Gloving for Food Protection: Effectiveness

Authored by: Eleanor J. Fendler , Michael J. Dolan , Ronald A. Williams , Daryl S. Paulson

Handbook of Topical Antimicrobials

Print publication date:  September  2002
Online publication date:  September  2002

Print ISBN: 9780824707880
eBook ISBN: 9780203909256
Adobe ISBN:


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The potential for food workers to be a factor in transmitting foodbome disease continues to be significant; however, the most effective method to break the contamination vector between food workers and consumers is a topic of intense debate. One view maintains that food workers must eliminate bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat food (by the use of gloves, utensils, etc.) to ensure protection, while the other position holds that a well-managed handwashing and sanitizing program is sufficient to ensure protection. Previously, we explored the evidence for these widely differing opinions via a review of the published literature relating to all aspects of handwashing and gloving [2], which clearly demonstrated that there is insufficient evidence to support the premise that use of gloves on the hands of food workers prevents the transfer of microorganisms to food and consequently to support the requirement for no hand contact with ready-to-eat food. The present study was carried out to establish data under simulated food service conditions to support the most effective hand hygiene regimens for food protection and minimized risk of health hazards.

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