What is Glove Juice?
Glove Juice is the name given to the bacteria-rich moisture that forms inside rubber work gloves when proper hand hygiene procedures are not followed. Encased in the rubber glove, the skin gets warm and produces sweat. This warm, wet environment is the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply. If a worker’s glove is torn or nicked while working, an ultra-concentrated colony of germs is released. Or, if the glove is removed and the worker touches food or equipment without washing their hands first, that same bacteria-laden moisture can immediately transfer contaminants from their hands to whatever they touch.
How to Avoid It
The key to reducing the risk presented by glove juice is to reduce the number of pathogens on the hands before gloving. Correct hand washing is a good start, but why stop there when the goal is to maximize pathogen reduction and minimize risk? Sanitizing after handwashing will further reduce the colony forming units (CFUs) making it more difficult for the bacteria to recolonize and grow into a potential threat.
The images below are from testing performed by Saraya Co., Ltd., a global leader in infection control and hand hygiene. The images show that even after washing with soap, some bacteria remain and can multiply rapidly once the hand is gloved and a warm environment is created. The last image shows how effective washing with soap and sanitizing with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be on bacteria reduction.
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