The risk of contaminating food with harmful bacteria is always an important issue for food manufacturers. After all, the last thing you want to do is fall foul of retailer scrutiny and, worse, cause illness to unsuspecting consumers.

However, as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reports new highs of contamination in store-bought chickens, the time is right for a renewed focus on reducing the risk of contamination.

You can see the full FSA report here, but the facts are simple – 73% of chickens tested were contaminated with campylobacter, the bug that causes most cases of food poisoning. Food manufacturers need to take action to drive this number down.

Remember the basics of reducing food contamination

At the moment, we’re all looking for ways to reduce the risk of cross-contamination in food manufacturing. But as we look to use more advanced methods of reducing contamination, one thing remains constant – gloves. They’re always needed, no matter which other processes you put in place.

Choosing the right gloves to reduce contamination

As we discussed in our tips for selecting the right hand protection for the food industry (which you can read here), gloves help to reduce contamination and provide protection. They need to do several jobs at once, balancing the demands of food safety with the practical requirements of food processors - critically, this means good grip.

In order to meet all these criteria simultaneously, we developed Gourmet Grip gloves in partnership with glove manufacturer Stalsen and a leading UK food manufacturer. We drew on their expertise in what it takes to handle poultry, ensure a reliable grip, and help people do their jobs effectively - in latex-free gloves.

The result - Gourmet Grip. Gourmet Grip gloves provide the solution to the need for more grip. Plus they’re resistant to chemicals so they can be worn during wash down. All in a latex-free nitrile glove that’s comfortable and practical to wear.

Responding to the FSA report, the British Poultry Council called for “proven technology to be made commercially available across the sector.” We've priced Gourmet Grip gloves to be commercially acceptable.

Take responsibility for hygiene and food safety

We all need to take responsibility for cross-contamination in food. It’s not just food manufacturers – the FSA have launched the Chicken Challenge, urging the entire food chain to do their bit to half campylobacter cases by the end of 2015.

The right protective gloves won’t be the quick and easy answer to the campylobacter crisis. But they can be an important part of your wider plans to take responsibility as poultry producer or processor.

Anchor Safety can help you improve hand protection – and play your part in reducing cross-contamination. For more information, call 0800 328 5028.