Hand sanitizers and single-use gloves are not substitutes for hand washing. Only after proper hand washing has been completed, should hand sanitizers or gloves be used. If used correctly, both can provide additional food protection. However, if used incorrectly, they can become another source of food contamination.

Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers are not intended to replace soap in the hand washing process. They are not effective in removing dirt or other organic materials. However, if used after proper hand washing procedures, they can reduce the number of bacteria and viruses that may remain on your hands. The Minnesota Food Code does not require the use of hand sanitizers.

Single-Use Gloves

Although single-use gloves can provide additional food protection, they are only effective if placed on properly washed hands and changed at appropriate times during the food operation. The Minnesota Food Code requires that employees limit direct hand contact with food. Wearing gloves is one way to meet this requirement. Single-use gloves are not specifically required unless the employee has a boil, infected wound or other lesion on their hand. In this case, the employee must apply a waterproof bandage and wear a single-use glove or finger cot over the bandage.

When Single-Use Gloves Are Used:

  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after wearing gloves, and when changing to a new pair of gloves.
  • Change gloves between handling raw foods and cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
  • Discard gloves when torn, contaminated, or removed for any reason.
  • Change gloves when interruptions occur in the food operation.
  • Change gloves frequently, at least once per hour.
  • Never reuse gloves under any circumstances.

Single-use gloves are to be used only once and for one specific purpose only.