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Explain which types of single-use gloves may be used.

Gloves that are used to touch cooked or ready-to-eat foods are defined as a "utensil" and so must meet the applicable requirements related to utensil construction, good repair, cleaning, and storage. When purchasing gloves for handling food:

  • Buy the proper glove for the task. For example, long gloves should be used for hand-mixing salads. Colored gloves can also be used to help prevent cross-contamination.
  • Provide a variety of glove sizes so they will not fall off or tear or rip too easily.
  • Purchase non-latex gloves.

Natural rubber latex (NRL) gloves. Natural rubber latex gloves have been reported to cause allergic reactions in some individuals who wear them during food preparation, and even in individuals eating food prepared by food employees wearing latex gloves. Although many allergic reactions occur as a result of occupational exposure, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is actively reviewing its current policy on the use of disposable NRL gloves in food operations in light of the possible transmission of the latex protein via food.

In 1997 the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) issued a joint statement discouraging the routine use of NRL gloves by food handlers. For more information about latex allergies, go to:


U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2005. Food Code. Washington, DC. The complete publication is available on-line at: