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Physical Barriers
chef preparing food using gloves

Using Physical Barriers in Food Establishments

Prevent the Spread of Germs

An invisible world of disease-causing germs can exist in the skin crevices, fingernails, and knuckles of all food handlers’ hands. Even the most carefully washed and dried hand surfaces are never as clean as the first disposable glove pulled from the box.

Physical barriers between bare hands and ready-to-eat foods, which include tongs, spatulas, bakery papers, and gloves, must be used whenever handling restaurant foods that will receive no further cooking.

Hand Washing

Gloves and other barriers do not replace hand washing. Gloves must be changed when job duties change. When doing jobs like taking in delivery boxes or taking out the garbage, gloves should be removed, hands washed, and new gloves put on before going back to handling ready-to-eat food.


Like soiled gloves, be aware that multi-use tongs and spatulas can also cross-contaminate “done” meats, plates, buns, garnishes, etc., with the raw juices from adjacent meats being prepared on the same grill. A good practice is to keep two utensils at the grill to separate the production phase from the service phase of potentially hazardous foods.

Contact Us

Food Safety Program

Main: 303-441-1564
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