California’s Ban on Latex Gloves

Dec 31, 2019

With all the effort these days to provide eco-friendly packaging and to reduce waste, you would think the upcoming ban in California on latex gloves would relate to that cause. However, that is not the case, although the reason is still very critical—allergies.

The prevention of food-related illnesses consists of proper handling, storage, and cooking of food. Further, this includes ensuring that food allergens are clearly labeled on packaging and menus. You may be familiar with the frequent advisories about shellfish and peanuts; however, allergies to latex are widespread. Approximately 6% of the general population is allergic to latex. Those affected may experience itchiness, hives, wheezing, rashes, swelling, chest tightness, or even anaphylactic shock. Allergic reactions to latex can occur from ingesting or touching a latex product or even inhaling latex particles. Currently, there isn’t a cure for this growing ailment.

The new bill “would prohibit the use of latex gloves in food facilities and retail food establishments and require food employees to use non-latex utensils, including non-latex gloves.” California will join Ohio, Hawaii, Arizona, Connecticut, and Rhode Island with this latex ban. Foodservice operators do have options, however. There are several non-latex gloves alternatives available including nitrile, vinyl, and polyethylene options.

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