(If you can't view the YouTube video in your browser, try the FlexTex Video page link.)
There are several good reasons why FlextTex gloves are superior to Latex gloves in Food Handling applications.
1.) Flextex gloves have a close and flexible fit to provide a real and sensitive touch. Have you ever wondered why doctors DO NOT use the same floppy plastic gloves that cleaners use to clean dunnys? Well, it's because they NEED to feel exactly what they are doing. That's what the Flextex glove does as well. It give you the ability really feel what you doing, while you are working with food.
2.) Flextex gloves are latex free. In fact, they aren't manufactured with any traces of latex or rubber at all! So this means that all the people with latex sensitivities or allergies don't have anything to worry about.
3.) Flextex gloves are tougher than normal vinyl gloves, yet much more cost effective than the latex gloves.
4.) Ever have trouble with that white powder that comes with standard gloves? At the end of your shift, you might find that your black trousers are now "sprinkled white". The best thing about Flextex Gloves is that there is no powder at all, so the clothes stay clean.
Check out the video link above and see what the staff at the Al Dente deli in Sunbury have to say.
If you have trouble with the YouTube plugin, check it out at our Flextex Gloves Video page.
There was an interesting observation from the food safety experts at the Gourmet Guardian, when they were here to prepare us for HACCP certification. When they were checking through our range of hair nets, beard covers, sleeve covers, aprons and shoe covers they mentioned how important these products were in the Australian Standards for Hygienic Production of Poultry Meat for Human Consumption (Australian Standard 4465).
There are many Maxpak products which come into contact with food at some point in their life span. These include carton liners, produce rolls, freezer bags, ldpe bags, box liners, slap sheets, vinyl gloves, latex gloves, plastic cups and a host of others as well! With so much food contact being involved - as well as the increasing regulation of food manufacturing industries - Maxpak has undertaken a programme for HACCP accreditation with our partners Australian Food Safety. As one of the oldest suppliers in the industry, we must continually improve our standards to avoid the dangers associated with unsafe manufacturing practices being combined with human food contact.
So, what is HACCP?
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. HACCP is an international risk based program first developed for NASA in the 60's and identifies possible hazards from the "paddock to the plate". The main principle of HACCP is PREVENTATIVE FOOD SAFETY.
We want to identify and STOP all potential hazards. A Hazard is anything that can cause harm to a consumer. Hazards are divided into three categories:
A PHYSICAL HAZARD included extraneous matter, foreign objects and any other physical matter not normally found in food, which can cause injury or illness to a consumer. Examples include wood, rust, and broken tiles - things that can fall into food or food contact related items.
A CHEMICAL HAZARD incorporates chemical substances that can cause poisoning or illness if they are not adequately removed or excessive levels are present. Cleaning chemicals are the main concern, however Chemical Hazards can also include pesticides, food additives (such as preservatives) and allergen contamination.
MICROBIOLOGICAL HAZARDS are an unacceptable level of micro-organisms or toxins in foods. Adequate cleaning and sanitising, as well as good personal hygiene are important in order to prevent these types of hazards.
We've talked about vinyl and latex gloves but it wouldn't be a three-part series without talking about nitrile gloves, now would it? Nitrile gloves are disposable gloves like the other two but unlike vinyl and latex, they're in a whole distinct class of their own!
Nitrile gloves have many fascinating properties that make it very common for manual labour. In fact, factories have adopted nitrile gloves as their 'can't live without' item simply for its durability and flexibility to have custom changes made to it.
The advantages nitrile gloves have to offer to make employment at places where chemicals, oil, heat and sweat run rampant is that all of these problems are much more bearable because of its chemical resistance and heat dissipation.
To understand why nitrile gloves are so important today, keep reading to learn about the special properties and uses they have to offer!
How Nitrile Gloves Are Made
We now know that latex gloves are made from rubber trees and vinyl gloves are made from PVC so then, what is nitrile's secret ingredient?
In the words of a scientist, nitrile gloves are made with synthetic polymer formed by combining the monomers acrylonitrile, butadiene and carboxylic acid. In words that the rest of us can understand, the gloves special ingredient is known as synthetic rubber.
Nitrile gloves are known to be a bit looser around the hand but one quality they possess that many other disposable gloves don't is a special property that's called butadiene. Butadiene allows the glove to warm up to the hand so that it becomes soft and mouldable, allowing it to be worn with comfort for many hours at a time.
Other elements and solvents are mixed in to maximise chemical and oil resistance, making nitrile gloves much more durable against punctures and erosion that can sometimes be caused by factory chemicals.
The biggest difference that you'll note with these gloves is that they can be a little thicker than a latex or vinyl glove. While it's been documented that gross dexterity does remain in full tact, it was shown that nitrile gloves can give 8.6 less finger dexterity than latex of vinyl gloves.
This is the main reason why you'll see nitrile gloves commonly used in factories, for automobiles and other jobs that are considered to be tough instead of the doctor's office for checking vitals.
Uses of Nitrile Gloves
The popularity of nitrile gloves is that it's made to be the most resistant of all disposable rubber gloves to oils and most chemicals. Some hospitals and dentists do keep a small stock within their offices but when you think of nitrile gloves, think more about factories and laboratories.
Chemists and scientists work with lots of needles and chemical mixtures amongst other things. They have to experiment with elements, mix them and make sure the solvents never touch their skin for safety reasons.
Automobile manufacturers are around oily cars, whether it's a mechanic or an assembly line. Hands have to go up into dirty places, change oil and do some heavy work that can cause blisters. Nitrile gloves are used just as much for safety as goggles and hard hats are at a construction site!
Factories that combine both chemicals and manual labour aren't left out either! Hands are everything in most businesses which is why it's your job to keep them working as best as they possibly can!
For those of you, who aren't employed in a manual labour job, don't think there's not a use for you! You do still use your hands in some pretty rough and sometimes gross places, right?
Think yard work or oil changes in your car – no one wants to touch prickly branches from a newly trimmed rose bush or greasy nuts and bolts inside of a car. Save the latex and vinyl for the inside and bring those nitrile gloves outdoors with you!
Wrapping up the entire series, what was once to be thought as only a doctor's (or nurse's) accessory to their white coats is now used for the biggest jobs in manufacturing companies all the way down to household chores. The uses for disposable gloves are endless and will ALWAYS be around!
Latex gloves are, perhaps, the most popular of the disposable glove clique but as with anything over the years, the need for more with different varieties are needed to keep everyone happy.
Latex gloves are, by far, the most used disposable rubber gloves used to date. It's estimated that the average hospital bed sees 75 pairs of latex gloves per day while the average dentist uses 123 pairs of these gloves per day. That's definitely not a small number considering theses are only the statistics for one doctor and one dentist, not including the thousands of other uses not mentioned!
The problem with all of this popularity is that out of the billions of people either using or having had contact with latex gloves, allergic reactions to the natural ingredient used in making them are bound to pop up around the globe.
While some believe this to be an epidemic that calls for the ban of latex, other realize the fact that out of the billions who touch these gloves is obviously a much bigger audience than those not using them at all.
Think about the grass in your front yard. Millions of people have allergies to freshly cut grass, pollen or plants in general but that doesn't take the need for these natural occurrences. Instead, people adapt and find solutions for dealing with what's there whether it's moving to an apartment or taking antihistamines to suppress the sneezing.
The same concept applies to disposable latex gloves. We've adapted, not thrown out the need for it altogether!
Understanding the need for clean and sterile environments along with allergies that are present, different types of disposable gloves are now used. Vinyl gloves have become the next latex with the same elasticity and durability, different grading for different uses and extremely hygienic.
The difference between latex and vinyl gloves is the ingredients used in making them.
How Vinyl Gloves Are Made
The biggest difference that vinyl gloves make in the sterile disposable glove market is the main ingredient used in making it. It's not a natural ingredient that many people might be allergic to; instead, it's a manmade ingredient called polyvinyl chloride or PVC, a term you may already be highly familiar with.
PVC is a synthetic rubber that are classified as either thermosetting resins or thermoplastic resins. The first type of resin includes the phenols used in latex but the difference is that this resin hardens and can never be softened again. This would be the PVC pipe you're familiar with.
The second resin, thermoplastic, contains all of your poly's: Polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS) and polypropylene (PP). This version can be moulded into flexible items making thermoplastic the ideal choice of PVC for vinyl gloves.
The biggest difference that can be seen by the human eye is the way these gloves fit your hand. They're designed to be a little looser fitting but they come in a variety of sizes so that you can pick the size that's perfect for you or the job they're needed for.
Vinyl gloves come in extra-small, small, medium, large and x-large so whatever size suits the job will definitely suit you!
Uses of Vinyl Gloves
MaxValu Disposable Vinyl Gloves
As with any type of disposable rubber glove, vinyl gloves also come with a powdered or powder-free choices and more importantly, their own set of grades: Medical, high risk and utility grade.
Medical and high risk graded vinyl gloves do come FDA approved and are used more commonly in medical and food service fields, whereas, utility graded gloves aren't approved and most likely used for painting or cleaning around the house.
Although there are endless uses for vinyl gloves, they're most commonly used in hospital, medical and dental settings. You might have noticed the latex and latex-free box of gloves sitting next to each other during your last visit for a check-up.
If you're one of those people who do have allergies to latex, don't feel shy in asking your doctor or dentist to switch to vinyl gloves. While a very small percentage of people are actually allergic to latex (less than two in 200 among healthcare workers), the hype that surrounds latex gloves is much larger.
Regardless, the great ideology of today's time is that there's always a plethora of options that continue improving and expanding to keep EVERYONE happy!
The number one cause of germs spreading anywhere you go is hand-to-person contact; whether it's shaking another's hand in a greeting, a chef cooking your favourite dish in a restaurant or a medical examiner taking a patient's vital signs.
In a world where safety is everything, it only makes sense that facilities dealing with potential hazards to another person's wellbeing are well equipped with the tools to do so. With hands being the main culprit of most health and safety-related accidents, you can be sure that the most basic of all safety equipment is lying within close range at just about any running business: Disposable rubber gloves.
The biggest reason protective gloves are used is the simple fact that each pair is used only once and then disposed of. It's really that simple! While they've been available for decades, it was the rise of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980's that brought out the massive surge for these rubber hand gloves. It brought to light, not only protection from the AIDS virus but also, the common sense that many diseases and infections are contractible so why shouldn't people be protecting themselves?
Many people tend to associate protective gloves specifically for hospitals or food service workers and while this is certainly a very important reason to use these gloves, there are many different purposes served by these gloves that you may or may not be aware of. During this 3-part series, the three most popular types of gloves (vinyl, latex and nitrile) will be identified along with what makes each so special to its protective uses.
The History Of Latex Gloves
The first part of this series is all about the latex – in a good way, of course! Latex gloves are the most popular of the bunch, used in almost every facility available to man.
Over a hundred years ago in 1890, William Stewart Halsted, from Johns Hopkins University, was the first person to use sterilised medical gloves after a publication of the germ theory came out. A strong advocate of sanitary surgical practice, his obsessive habits of cleanliness pushed him into discovering better ways to keep surgical operating rooms and patients as sanitised as humanly possible.
It came as no surprise that Halsted's patients healed much at a higher rate and stayed in the hospital for noticeably lesser amounts of time than other doctor's patients. Because his patient improvement rate was so high, in 1886, Dr. William H. Welch, from John Hopkins University, offered Halstead an invitation to join their faculty and begin work on improving surgical techniques for suture wounds and healing.
Four years later, one of William Halsted's nurses became infected through another patient's disease which inspired him to conjure up the invention of rubber gloves. In the 1800's, obviously technology wasn't what it was today which kept rubber gloves very basic, thick and reusable. Not necessarily the most sanitary way we're used to today but definitely a progressive movement during that era.
It wasn't until 1964 that disposable latex gloves were brought to light in a much newer, safer and more comfortable fashion by Brian Ansell, founder of Ansell Limited. Ansell initially ran a balloon manufacturing company. During his travels, he began thinking of different ways to use the rubber material in helpful ways to expand his company. Putting his son, Harvey Ansell to work, they developed an even more sanitary and comfortable feeling disposable latex glove for medical staff worldwide.
How Latex Gloves Are Made
Latex definitely sounds completely artificial but the base ingredient used in making these gloves is the very natural, earthy Para rubber tree! The bark from these rubber trees is shaved in such a way that it allows the sap oozes out, providing the main material used in latex gloves and other latex products today.
Considering the billions of latex gloves used worldwide, it may seem as though rubber trees might become extinct but fascinatingly, the latex sap that these trees produce dries up very quickly, stopping the tree from dying and allowing it to keep producing.
After this special sap is gathered, it's then measured per size of the hand mould and put inside of a huge vat of substituted phenols. Because of the allergies that natural latex rubber can cause people, a protective elemental ingredient call aluminium hydroxide, also known as Al(HO)3, is added to include protein to the chemical bonding process while it's still in liquid form.
The Al(HO)3 element helps remove the natural impurities in latex sap also forming a jellylike substance that suspends all unwanted materials and bacteria. This process allows the remaining mixture to be harvested and moulded into the glove shape while also cutting down on those nasty allergic reactions.
Once the latex has been shaped and hardened, it's then dipped and rinsed of all residual proteins, packaged and shipped for everyone's safety enjoyment.
There are now powdered and non-powdered types of latex gloves available for everyone which is simply a matter of personal choice. For powdered latex gloves, cornstarch is used as a layer on the inside to help prevent the sweat that accumulates when wearing them for extended periods of time.
How To Properly Wear Disposable Latex Gloves
Putting On Gloves
The most important use for any type of disposable rubber glove is knowing how to put them on and then dispose properly of the gloves after usage. Sounds pretty simple, right? It is, once you learn the proper method of doing so!
The whole purpose of wearing gloves is to keep bacteria and other yucky molecules from touching your skin. In order for your hands to stay germ-free, the outside of the gloves must NEVER touch the inside of the gloves. As long as you remember this rule, you've mastered the main part of wearing your disposable gloves properly!
There are many techniques to putting them on as well as removing them but the easiest method is to keep the wrist part of the glove rolled up a couple of centimetres towards the outside. This keeps the clean hand only touching the inside of the glove and not the outside. After you've put your gloves on, you can then unroll the cuffs easily on any clean surface.
The method for removal is practically the same as putting the rubber gloves on. Again, rolling up the glove at the wrist opening, take your index finger and lift up the rolled part while pulling your other hand out. This will turn the glove inside out and keep you from touching the dirtied parts of it. Follow the same step with your other hand and voila! You're bacteria and dirt free!
Uses of Latex Gloves
With so many uses of sterilised gloves, different types have been created to match its designated job as best as it possibly can. Latex gloves are most commonly used in the medical and dental field, hairdressing companies and industrial complexes.
Just like anything else that's used on a daily basis, different industries call for different measures which is why latex gloves are given different grades to distinguish the size and strength of protection against chemicals or infections. The most common grades used to determine which glove to use for which profession are economy, general, premium and medical.
For example, medical grade latex gloves would be used in, you guessed it, medical facilities. These gloves are more durable since the must be worn for long periods of time and must provide protection against diseases that doctors are constantly in contact with.
Economy grade gloves are designed for light food handling or light cleaning whereas general grade gloves are designed to handle the rougher parts such as food preparation or production.
The reason latex gloves are so popularly used everywhere is that no matter where you work or live, disposable gloves are extremely versatile and indispensable - even if you're just cleaning out the gunk in your kitchen sink!
Stay tuned for Part II of our Disposable Gloves Series to learn more about vinyl disposable gloves and the popular uses for them!
Latex Gloves: What is going on?
The pricing and supply of latex gloves has been extremely erratic due to the recent increases in latex raw material costs. Latex raw material is the "sap" which is secreted from the rubber tree when the tissue of the tree is injured. Rubber trees, like any agricultural products are highly dependent on environmental factors for a successful harvest. In particular, heavy rainfall and no frost.
The major export countries of latex gloves are Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. So, what has been going on in these countries what have affected supply?
Latex and Rubber raw material: Market conditions
A few of the issues affecting the cost and output of latex gloves and rubber products at the start of 2011:
It is these factors which have led to an increase in demand and a shortage of supply of latex raw materaial - hence the recent price increases. Short to medium term forecasts expect much of the same, with demand well outstripping small increases in supply.
Opposition leader, Tony Abbott shows an excellent food preparation technique, using blue vinyl gloves to prepare his barbecue - all while campaigning against the carbon tax.
Packaging, Environment and Legislation Observations from Maxpak
Environmental Packaging, Plastic Bags, Paper Bags, Shopping Bags, Cleaning Wipes & Products, Garbage Bags & Liners, Packaging & Cleaning Products