Are Nitrile Gloves Food Safe?

1 CommentTuesday, 16 June 2020  |  Alex

When you are choosing gloves for handling food, it is important not only to ensure that the food is protected against contact with your hands, but also that it is protected against any materials leaching from the gloves. As one of the most popular types of disposable gloves, many people question whether or not nitrile gloves are safe to be used with food. The answer to this is a resounding yes; not only are nitrile gloves safe to use with food but they are also one of the best choices for food handling.

Which Nitrile Gloves Are Best for Food Use?

Nitrile as a material is safe for contact with food, however for complete peace of mind we recommend looking for gloves that have been tested to the European standard EN 1186. This is the standard that is used to highlight gloves that are Food Safe and these can be identified by the symbol below:

Food Safe Icon

To view our full range of nitrile gloves that conform to EN 1186, please visit our Food Safe Nitrile Gloves category.

Why Should I Use Gloves When Handling Food?

While washing your hands can provide protection against the contamination of food, disposable gloves used in combination with rigorous cleanliness adds an extra level of safety. Nitrile gloves are especially useful if you are switching between handling money and handling food – once your hand has touched money, you have put yourself at risk of then contaminating food. With disposable gloves, you can simply change to a new glove to prevent any contamination.

Gloves in Use on a Food Truck
Street food vendors often use nitrile gloves to ensure
high levels of hygiene

Can I Use Nitrile Gloves When Preparing Food?

Many chefs and cooks may prefer to cook without gloves, but using disposable nitrile gloves can actually increase the cleanliness of your kitchen. If you currently use a cut resistant glove for knife handling, using a nitrile glove over your cut resistant glove can reduce the need to replace/clean your reusable gloves without compromising on your protection.

Can I Use Nitrile Gloves for Home Cooking?

When you are cooking at home, there is obviously a smaller risk associated with food preparation compared to professional environs. This doesn't mean, however, that nitrile gloves can't come in handy when cooking around the home.

For example, if you have ever suffered the agony of accidentally rubbing your eye having just cut a chilli pepper, you can appreciate the benefit of wearing gloves when dealing with spicy foodstuffs. Similarly, if you are preparing a meal and are touching raw meat before vegetables, wearing gloves can prevent you needing to re-wash your hands every couple of minutes.

Are Nitrile Gloves Good for Sensitive Skin?

While there is a tiny minority people who have a nitrile allergy, nitrile is a material with far less risk of an allergic reaction when compared to other materials (for example, latex). This makes them a great choice for companies looking to equip a large amount of staff, or for people that have sensitive skin.

Which Nitrile Gloves Would You Recommend?

Any of our Food Safe Nitrile Gloves are a great option for maintaining a rigorous level of hygiene, but we've selected some of some of our favourite food safe nitrile gloves for those unsure where to start. This guide breaks down our top picks, why we love them, and how they can help you.

Nitrile Gloves: Our Number One Recommended Material for Food

Whether you are plating elaborate dishes in a fancy French restaurant or selling burgers in a van outside of a football stadium on a Saturday afternoon, food hygiene has got to be a big concern. Nitrile gloves strike the perfect balance between economy, ease and efficacy, safe-guarding you from having to worry about health and allowing you to focus on the food itself.

Do you use nitrile gloves for food preparation? Let us know how you find them in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter!

Tom Stokke
Wednesday, 11 November 2020  |  15:39

Thank you for this information regarding food safe disposable gloves. I have ordered comprehensive tests for our nitrile disposable gloves and some is failing the EU-regulation for food contact. EN1186 is for plastic gloves. Nitrile gloves have to be tested also according to 1935/2004 for specific migration. The limit for Acrylonnitrile is only 0.01 mg/kg and very few nitrile gloves manage this limit. When we did our specific migration tests, the nitrile gloves failed in contact with 10 % ethanol in less than 2 minuttes contact. We did not go further because the nitrile producer could not change the nitrile formula. We know that some nitrile is passing the test, but it is very expensive to do all the testing and then fail. This means that the tests for nitrile gloves we made should be restricted in contact with acid foods to very short contact each time you handle acid foods.
Looking forward to have your comments about this. Best Tom