Trade is an industry where both sellers and customers have a constant contact with each other and with goods. We can all be carriers of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Our hands are the primary route of transmission for microorganisms, so shop and warehouse staff are required to use disposable gloves, especially in grocery shops, as a sanitary regime must be maintained when handling fresh food. It is recommended to use latex or disposable plastic gloves. However, the same gloves should not be used all the time when working at the counter and touching different devices, such as slicer or scales keyboard. Any contact of the employee’s hand with an object other than meat and sausages requires changing gloves after washing and disinfecting their hands. Gloves should also be changed for different assortments handled.

Trade in medical supplies Trade in medical supplies
Other trade Other trade

What to pay attention to?

The most important standard that employees and customers in the retail industry should note is ISO 374-5:2016.

It is also advisable to choose gloves made of non-sensitising materials – they will be used every day, so they should feel comfortable on the skin.

When handling food, a special Food Contact Material certificate will be required. All gloves offered by Mercator have this certificate.

  • Use only disposable gloves and discard them after doffing!

  • For hygiene reasons, wear disposable gloves for each activity.

  • Do not disinfect gloves – it is not allowed!

  • Select appropriate glove material for the specific task; note the barrier properties of the material.

  • Always disinfect hands before and after donning and doffing the gloves; wash your hands if necessary.

  • When working with your gloves on, do not touch personal objects (such as a mobile phone), which provide a hotbed for bacteria.

  • During operations with a high risk of mechanical damage to hands, use gloves made of a thicker material.

  • If your glove is mechanically damaged during use, be sure to take it off and put on a new pair.

  • Choose the correct glove size and raw material for your hands.

Raw material

In the medical industry, the raw material used to make the gloves is particularly important, as many procedures require instruments that can mechanically damage the material. There are several types of raw materials used to manufacture gloves:

  1. Latex gloves:
    The most popular medical gloves are made of natural rubber. This durable and flexible material provides excellent protection against blood-borne pathogens and some hazardous chemicals. According to many users, these gloves are more comfortable than those made of nitrile or vinyl. Currently, 90% of the global latex production is in Asia. They are manufactured in a variety of colours to suit the needs and likes of the staff, and the style of the place where they are used.

    Latex gloves provide:
    • flexibility and softness,
    • strength and comfortable use,
    • excellent touch sensitivity, gloves feel like a “second skin”.

    The latex from which gloves are made is a natural raw material, but still carries the risk of type I allergy.

  2. Nitrile gloves:
    Nitrile, also known as acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), is a material made of organic chemical compounds. The production process of this raw material was modified so that it can compete with natural rubber. Nitrile gloves are an ideal alternative to gloves made of natural rubber.

    Nitrile gloves:
    • do not contain latex proteins – they are safe for persons allergic to latex,
    • their content of chemical vulcanisation accelerators is limited to a minimum,
    • have good barrier properties for chemicals.

    Minimised content of chemical accelerators significantly reduces the risk of type IV allergy.

  3. Vinyl gloves:
    These very durable medical gloves are made from plasticised polyvinyl chloride, the popular PVC. Vinyl provides good protection against chemicals, as well as against contamination with bodily fluids (including blood). Vinyl belongs to the group of PVC materials. Thanks to its properties, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has various applications in different industries. Vinyl gloves are skin-friendly for users prone to type I and IV allergies

  4. Plastic gloves:
    Gloves made of polyethylene provide a basic protection during low-risk work. They are a temporary barrier rather than effective protection means. Most of these gloves are approved for contact with food (PZH certification).

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