Blogs, News & Info
We encourage critical discussion about food cleanliness/safety and food poisoning news.
Oregon Chooses Not to Follow FDA Glove Guidelines.
If you eat restaurant food in Oregon, you won’t be protected from sick workers, because according to today’s headlines, the “No Bare Hand Contact” section of new food safety rules will not be adopted.
The 2009 FDA Food Code defines best practice in restaurant food preparation. That best practice includes “NO BARE HAND CONTACT WITH READY TO EAT FOOD”.
That recommendation is based on good science. Viral agents accounted for 60% of outbreaks in one scientific review. Ninety-three percent of the outbreaks involved food workers who were ill either prior to or at the time of the outbreak, depending on the organism involved. The majority of the outbreaks associated with food workers involved transmission of the pathogen to food by the food worker’s hands.
I am not offering an extensive literature review of the science behind glove use. But I have written a previous blog post “Wearing Gloves During Food Handling Reduces Spread of Disease” addressing this issue. Apparently Oregon didn’t read it.
Several other blogs have commented on the topic. A HuffingtonPost.com editorial note presents arguments in favor of the gloveless freedom. The YorkBlog.com sees no reason to use gloves. Comments made by some of the public responding to the blog posts show a lack of understanding of disease transmission. Imagine your Dentist putting his hands in your mouth without gloves. Creeps me out. How about you? Reminds me a bit of the scientific, medical and social discussions about the use of condoms in spreading sexually transmitted diseases. Eventually the HIV epidemic caught everyone’s attention.
Only the FoodPoisoningBulletin.com presents compelling arguments in favor of gloves use.
Nothing is a magic bullet. There is no question; hand washing is critical to prevention of disease transmission. But even with diligent washing, our fingernail beds and creases in our hands remain contaminated. Using gloves requires conscious activity above the spinal cord to understand that gloves can become contaminated if the user is sloppy. But using gloves reduces food poisoning risk. PERIOD!
This is real blow to Oregon food safety.
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