Olive Catering Services specialise in providing workplace catering solutions, with an emphasis on natural ingredients and freshly prepared food. Given the importance of hygiene, disposable gloves are a crucial piece of equipment for staff. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Workwear specialists, Supertouch, recently teamed up with Olive Catering Services to provide some Ultra Nitrile gloves for a busy lunchtime service.
Olive Catering Services operates in a range of workplaces across the UK, including Smethwick-based manufacturers Avery-Weigh Tronix. The Scales Restaurant – the on-site catering solution from Olive – witnesses a busy breakfast and lunchtime service, often serving upwards of 50-100 customers at each sitting.
With four members of staff preparing food from 7:30am, the need for efficiency is paramount. Add in the fact that the number of customers can vary drastically from day-to-day, depending on a range of factors, from meetings to training, and it is evident that time is a valuable currency at The Scales Restaurant.
As Olive Catering Solutions prepare healthy foods from scratch each and every day, it is vital that the staff can work as efficiently as possible, with maximum dexterity whilst maintaining the highest standards in hygiene.
Disposable gloves are integral to this, as chef manager, Vanessa Sheppard, explains: “We wear gloves for several hours a day, every day of the working week – probably amounting to over ten hours in a five-day period. It’s especially important when handling high-risk foods, in order to prevent cross-contamination. Given that we often handle food in front of customers, it also provides peace of mind, as they can see that we are preparing their food with care and precision.”
The gloves are mainly used when making sandwiches, chopping raw foods, and preparing meat, with chicken in particular being a high-risk ingredient. The nature of Olive’s service means that staff will often occupy several roles at once, requiring them to handle both food and cash in a short period of time. As a result, those working in the restaurant use around ten pairs of gloves a day, since the same pair cannot be used after touching the till and handling cash. There is also the ethical consideration of handling meat with the same pair of gloves that vegetarian food will be handled with.
Vanessa continues: “The nature of having to constantly change our gloves has meant turning to hand-wear which is easy to take on and off. Predominantly, this has been powdered vinyl gloves, which are thin and easy to put on. However, the nature of the material and powder has caused irritation to wearers, which is obviously a major drawback given the length of time they are worn for.”
The solution at your fingertips
It is vital, therefore, that the gloves Olive Catering Services use meet a certain set of requirements.
Firstly, given the amount of time staff wear the gloves for on a day-to-day basis, they must be sized correctly. This is crucial from a comfort point of view, because if the gloves are awkward and irritable, then employees are less likely to wear them.
Additionally, if the gloves are ill-fitting, it can lead to excess bagging and slipping. This can be dangerous, since the gloves can catch on knives, puncturing the material or cutting the ends off. This is unhygienic at best, but also has the potential to cause serious injuries.
Supertouch offers a wide range of sizes for gloves, from small to XXL, which helps to ensure they fit safely and securely. They are also available in a number of different colours, equipping users with the option to colour code tasks, such as handling raw meat, vegetables, general etc. This degree of versatility helps companies like Olive Catering Services provide comfortable, safe, and hygienic PPE to their employees.
The other main consideration for caterers is the level of grip that gloves can offer. This is useful across all tasks, but especially for cutting slippery foods, such as raw chicken. Supertouch’s Ultra Nitrile disposable gloves are designed with maximum dexterity in mind, featuring excellent grip and strength, without sacrificing the thin, lightweight comfort necessary for all-day tasks.
Nitrile is a material which is 100% latex free, which alleviates potential allergen issues amongst both those wearing the gloves, and those eating the freshly prepared food. It also They are also powder-free, and therefore ideally suited to food preparation tasks because it ensures that no residue is left behind.
Olive Catering Services use Supertouch’s Ultra Nitrile gloves at The Scales Restaurant in Smethwick. Using them during the busy lunchtime services, the team has commented on the optimum comfort of the gloves, and how easy they are to remove and put back on regularly throughout the day without the irritation caused by powdered alternatives.
Vanessa Sheppard concludes: “The dexterity of the gloves is particularly pleasing. With so much of our work dedicated to fiddly tasks, such as the preparation of multi-ingredient salads and the handling of raw poultry, we heavily rely on PPE. Versatility in size, range, and also the types of tasks that we can complete whilst wearing the gloves, is of upmost importance, and the Supertouch Ultra Nitrile gloves meet these requirements.”