It's no secret that disposable gloves play a critical role in food service.
According to the 2013 Food Code, contact with ready-to-eat food should not be made with bare hands (except when washing fruits and vegetables). In many cases, this requires single-use gloves to be worn during food prep.
As anyone in the food service industry will tell you, though, disposable gloves go quickly. Best practices call for staff members to change gloves frequently as the gloves can quickly be compromised by small punctures, cuts, or regular wear and tear. The COVID-19 crisis has worsened this problem.
The emergence of COVID-19 and the need to keep staff and customers healthy and safe have further magnified the importance of disposable gloves. Now, in addition to food prep, the gloves are also being used in front-of-house situations that require multiple people touching common surfaces such as POS machines and other smart devices.
Additionally, when the pandemic first hit, disposable gloves and facemasks became a symbol of safe living. No longer were healthcare and food service the main markets for disposable gloves—now every household in the country wanted to stock up.
In short, demand for the gloves has increased. A lot. And just as the concept of supply and demand always plays out, the price of these gloves has skyrocketed as the availability has plummeted.
An Alternate Option
The rising cost of a common supply in food service is another financial blow to an industry that is already seeing greatly reduced revenues. Meanwhile, finding and securing a large enough inventory of disposable gloves poses yet another challenge in the ongoing battle to stay safe and stay open.
But food service operators are a resilient bunch.
Some operators have turned to reusable gloves to offset the expanded use of their disposable counterparts and seize on an opportunity to increase ROI. Options such as DayMark’s SafetyApplied® Antimicrobial Glove give stores the ability to keep the disposable gloves in the back-of-house—where they are essential—while boosting the front-of-house staff’s ability to keep themselves and customers safe from potentially harmful germs.
The gloves are made from a breathable, lightweight antimicrobial fabric that both prohibits the spread of bacteria and is machine washable for repeated use. It provides dexterity and touchscreen capability in the index and thumb fingertips so that staff can perform common tasks safely and without disruption.
Beyond Food Service
The disposable glove shortage isn’t just hitting food service hard.
Other industries, including retail establishments, banking, airline, fitness centers, education, and in-home repair service are also facing the same obstacles. And just as with food service, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to even more strain on the availability of disposable gloves in these industries.
Fortunately, the versatility of the SafetyApplied glove provides an affordable, convenient solution. The gloves are suitable for use in a variety of applications, including at the bank teller's counter, handling money at the drive-thru, working with fitness clients, service calls, and many other customer-facing situations.
As the pandemic continues to roll on, the disposable glove shortage persists—but reusable options such as the SafetyApplied Antimicrobial Glove are helping operators weather the storm.