Latex glove use by food handlers: the case for nonlatex gloves

J Food Prot. 2008 Nov;71(11):2334-8. doi: 10.4315/0362-028x-71.11.2334.


There is increasing concern that continued exposure to latex products can predispose individuals, particularly those who are atopic (allergy prone), to latex allergy. Latex allergy as a serious hazard has been well documented in the health care industry. There are also well-documented cases of food handlers who have had allergic reactions after the use of latex gloves. The contamination of food with latex proteins by food handlers using latex gloves can also result in potentially severe allergic reactions in latex-allergic consumers. We review latex allergy and present the case for avoiding latex glove use by food handlers in the food and hospitality industries. Adopting the use of nonlatex gloves has benefits for workers, consumers, and the food industry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control*
  • Food Handling / instrumentation*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Food Industry / methods*
  • Food Industry / standards
  • Gloves, Protective / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Latex / adverse effects
  • Latex / immunology
  • Latex Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Latex Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*


  • Allergens
  • Latex