Because nitrile gloves durable and chemical resistant which makes them ideal for food handling, food processing and commercial kitchens.

Are nitrile gloves food safe?



What are nitrile gloves?

Nitrile Gloves are essentially a barrier used to protect hands from Chemicals, Contaminants, Bacteria, Viruses & Micro Organisms.

However, nitrile gloves can have different styles with varying properties that provide different levels of protection & features to the user.

Nitrile gloves are manufactured from a synthetic rubber derived from acrylonitrile and butadiene, which makes them superior in Chemical, Abrasion & Puncture resistance, compared to other synthetic and natural materials offered in the market.


What do nitrile gloves protect against?

Nitrile gloves offer protection against Chemicals & Viruses; however, this is limited and time dependent on the chemical that is present during the application.

It’s always critical to check that the gloves you intend to use or are using are fit for purpose and meet the requirements of the application.

Nitrile gloves can have varying standards in relation to Chemical Protection and it’s always important to check local regulations to ensure compliance.

A defining factor should always be to seek EN ISO 374, this standard refines the required capabilities for gloves that protect workers whose hands are subject to chemical and/or microorganism exposure. This should always be detailed on the box, spec sheet or packaging. Within the standard are 3 Types: C, B & A with ‘A’ offering the highest level of protection.

What to look for:

3 types food safety protection

Key Factors also to consider are:

  1. Breakthrough time – this is how long it takes to detect a substance on the inside of the glove when the outside is exposed to a chemical.
  2. Degradation – this the physical properties of the glove changing such as swelling, cracking, color change and shrinking.
  3. Permeation - this is the rate at which a substance passes through a glove material once breakthrough takes place. This rate includes absorption on the surface, diffusion through the material, and desorption on the inside surface.

Ansell Chemical Guardian Partner can help locate the correct Single Use Nitrile according to the chemicals you are using:

Are nitrile gloves safe for food handling?

There are certain standards and criteria that must be met for a nitrile glove to be deemed as food safe and not all nitrile gloves meet these standards.

It is important to check the product you are using to ensure that they comply to local/regional requirements. Requirements vary based on location and local laws.

The USA requires that all food handling gloves must meet FDA Title 21 CFR Part 177, which necessitates that gloves must be both sanitary and impermeable.

In most European countries, EN1186 must be present to deem a glove as food safe. This measures overall migration limits and means that a glove is safe to be used in food handling or food packaging. EN1186 is in place to offer guidance in terms of the materials that should be used in gloves and to limit the trace amounts of plastics that could potentially migrate into food that could be harmful to humans.

How is EN 1186 Tested?

Every glove manufacturer must go through two stages of testing to ensure that their product is suitable for food contact. These two stages are:

  1. Glove Materials: The manufacturer must ensure that their glove is only made with substances listing in EU Regulation 10/2011. This regulation lists every plastic material that is suitable for contact with foods. The manufacturer must not include any materials in their gloves that are not on this list.
  2. Migration Testing: This is where manufacturers must ensure they meet the migration limits mentioned above.

To identify products that meet EN1186 the below symbol should be present on the glove, box, or spec sheet:

EN1186 symbol

How Ansell can help?

Ansell carries a variety of high quality, versatile nitrile gloves for safely handling food in food processing or food service facilities, commercial kitchens and at home, with multiple sizes and colors to ensure you get the exact product you need.

View Nitrile Gloves


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