Are Nitrile Gloves Food Safe? What You Should Know

wearing nitrile gloves while chopping vegetables

A multitude of industries require the use of disposable gloves. Healthcare workspaces, cosmetic salons, mechanical environments, and tattoo shops all necessitate the use of gloves, to protect the worker's hands from germs, cuts, burns, and provide a barrier from other hazardous chemicals.

While there is a range of disposable glove materials to choose from, nitrile gloves have been rising in the ranks of popularity over the last few years due to their many benefits when compared to alternatives.

Nitrile gloves have superior chemical resistance, as well as excellent tear and puncture resistance. They have high tactile sensitivity, waterproof qualities, and provide a comfortable fit. Lastly, they are preferred over latex as they do not present the risk of latex allergies or contact dermatitis. So, are nitrile gloves food safe? The short answer is: yes.

Learn more about when and why food workers are required to change gloves here.

    Food Handling Nitrile Gloves

    From restaurants, bars, coffee shops, food trucks, caterers, clubs and home kitchens, disposable gloves are a necessity. Nitrile has risen to be considered the safest material for food handling services, but there are still a lot of factors to consider within the nitrile glove universe.

    It could get a little overwhelming to figure out which properties of nitrile gloves to look for, so here's a guide to understanding what to choose for your business or home.


    As mentioned above, nitrile is the best material for food contact, but it is important to look for nitrile gloves that have been cleared by the FDA. Look for nitrile gloves that are additive-free and FDA-cleared, as those are suitable for cleanliness, dexterity and durability, all great qualities for a kitchen, or even for the operation of food processing machinery.

    Nitrile gloves are more likely to stop harmful bacteria from coming through the gloves, especially if workers are not following proper food handling safety procedures, such as thorough and consistent hand-washing.

    The high durability offered by FDA cleared gloves means there is less chance they would tear apart, leaving no room for cross-contamination. Even if they were to be punctured over long-term use, nitrile gloves still hold their integrity, meaning they won't rip into pieces that could end up finding their way into the food you are prepping.

    Here's another tip: exam-grade nitrile gloves are often cleared after rigorous testing standards, meaning they are more resilient and suitable for the more strength-requiring industrial applications. Choosing exam-grade gloves means you are guaranteed fantastic puncture resistance as well as other advantages that are useful for food safety.


    When considering nitrile gloves for food preparation, you have the options of powder and powder-free materials. For food-handling purposes, powder-free nitrile gloves are definitely the best choice for your business or home. This is because powdered gloves tend to fuse and become stuck to the wearer's hand, as well as other surfaces they come into contact with.

    This makes it difficult to take the gloves on and off quickly in a high-speed food handling environment. The powder may also spill out onto surfaces, potentially getting into the food you are preparing, or causing allergic reactions to the wearer.

    Powder-free nitrile gloves, on the other hand, are made of materials that emulate cornstarch powder, meaning the wearer may don the gloves easily compared to the gloves that are coated with actual cornstarch powder. Exam-grade powder-free nitrile gloves offer high durability, and do not pose the risk of spreading cornstarch glove powder into workers' airways or into the food.

      Buying in Bulk

      Here's another tip if you handle food in a fast-paced work environment: always buy your gloves in bulk. Since food prepping work always requires disposable gloves that are single-use, busy chefs and other food industry workers are often going through many of these gloves in one day, let alone in one week.

      Instead of stocking up on cases of gloves every couple of weeks, and spending thousands of dollars a year making sure you always have them available for your work, buying them in bulk can save you both money and time.

      Shop Best Nitrile Gloves for Food Handling

      Let's recap: the best food handling gloves should come with the following qualities: powder-free design, exam-grade design, high durability, and don't forget the option to buy nitrile gloves in bulk.

      WellBefore offers nitrile gloves with all of these qualities and more! You can shop for nitrile gloves that are comfortable, have lower friction for frequent changing, and are durable and dexterous. They are offered in many sizes to ensure a proper fit as well as choices of color in case a workplace requires color-coding for the different steps in the process of food handling.

      Shop the best nitrile gloves for food handling on WellBefore today!