They said loads: Handwashing and glove use both necessary

Handwashing and glove use are the main methods for reducing bacterial cross-contamination from hands to ready-to-eat food in a food service setting.

amy.sorenne.handwashingHowever, bacterial transfer from hands to gloves is poorly understood, as is the effect of different durations of soap rubbing on bacterial reduction. To assess bacterial transfer from hands to gloves and to compare bacterial transfer rates to food after different soap washing times and glove use, participants’ hands were artificially contaminated with Enterobacter aerogenes B199A at ∼9 log CFU. Different soap rubbing times (0, 3, and 20 s), glove use, and tomato dicing activities followed. The bacterial counts in diced tomatoes and on participants’ hands and gloves were then analyzed. Different soap rubbing times did not significantly change the amount of bacteria recovered from participants’ hands.

Dicing tomatoes with bare hands after 20 s of soap rubbing transferred significantly less bacteria (P < 0.01) to tomatoes than did dicing with bare hands after 0 s of soap rubbing. Wearing gloves while dicing greatly reduced the incidence of contaminated tomato samples compared with dicing with bare hands. Increasing soap washing time decreased the incidence of bacteria recovered from outside glove surfaces (P < 0.05).

These results highlight that both glove use and adequate hand washing are necessary to reduce bacterial cross-contamination in food service environments.

Adequate hand washing and glove use are necessary to reduce cross-contamination from hands with high bacterial loads.

J Food Prot. 2016 Feb; 79(2):304-8. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-15-342.

Robinson AL, Lee HJ, Kwon J, Todd E, Rodriguez FP, Ryu D