Why Disposable Gloves are the MVP of Football


With the countdown to the National Football League 2015 season looming, not to mention thousands of high schools and colleges preparing for upcoming seasons of their own, it is worthwhile to consider the place disposable gloves hold in football stadiums.

This year’s NFL kickoff takes place on Thursday, Sept. 10 at Gillette Field in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where the Pittsburgh Steelers will face off against the New England Patriots. According to the stadium’s website, up to 5,000 staff members are needed to operate the stadium for each game, including food service, janitors, medical professionals and vehicle support. The number may be larger or smaller in high school and college stadiums around the country, but one thing is for sure: Football stadiums require quite an arsenal of disposable gloves to meet the needs of employees. While the athletes themselves won’t sport nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves, there are many employees in the background who rely on gloves to get their jobs done. Where would a football stadium be without food service employees to keep hungry fans happy, janitors to keep the stadium clean, physicians to deal with injuries and vehicle support staff to ensure players make it to games?

Food service
Gillette Stadium boasts that Patriots fans eat more than one ton of Italian sausage on a typical game day and consume 186 gallons of clam chowder. To safely deliver these food items, as well as any others a stadium sells, workers need disposable gloves to prevent cross-contamination. These employees need to change gloves frequently and go through up to 20 pairs each day. For this reason, food service employees are most likely to wear poly or vinyl gloves, which provide the required protection at a low cost.

Janitorial and maintenance
Overall, Gillette Field has a capacity of almost 67,000 people and covers nearly 2 million square feet, according to the stadium’s website. That’s a lot of space to clean. To protect themselves from cleaning chemicals and bacteria, janitorial staff require disposable gloves. These employees may use vinyl, nitrile or latex gloves. Vinyl is the most cost-effective option, but nitrile and latex provide superior chemical and puncture resistance.

“Disposable gloves play a big role behind the scenes at football games.”

Medical
Football players often sustain many injuries throughout the course of a season, ranging from serious concussions to minor cuts and scrapes. Medical professionals don disposable gloves, such as latex or nitrile, to provide a barrier against potential bodily fluid contact and protect wounds from contamination.

Vehicle support
When watching players face off on the field, it’s easy to forget many of them had to travel hundreds of miles to get there. A CBS News profile of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ travel to a game in Pittsburgh noted all the players board a bus to and from the airport, and roughly 16,000 pounds of equipment accompanies the team to each away game. Stadiums may keep mechanics and vehicle maintenance staff on-site to make sure vehicles are in working order to transport players and gear from point A to point B. These staff are most likely to wear durable latex or nitrile gloves for their enhanced protection.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators across the country will fill stadiums this season, but without disposable gloves, it would be impossible for them to watch their favorite players on the field. Disposable gloves are every year’s most valuable player.

AMMEXWhy Disposable Gloves are the MVP of Football
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3 Food Industry Terms to Know


Sept. 1 kicks off the National Restaurant Association’s National Food Safety Month (NFSM). The event, which recently passed its 20th anniversary, highlights the need for proper food handling throughout the food industry. Over the course of the month AMMEX will support NFSM and provide extra insight into safety throughout the food industry.

The theme for this year is “Let it Flow,” focusing on the movement of food through the food service industry. It will raise awareness for how to maintain proper food safety at each point in the restaurant, from receiving the goods and storing them to serving prepared meals.

As food service workers gain knowledge about food service over the next 30 days, they may run into some unfamiliar industry-specific terms for various kinds of distributors and businesses. Here is a short guide to some of these terms:

Center of the plate
This term generally refers to meat suppliers, or vendors that restaurants and other food service environments work with to source beef, pork, lamb and other animal products. Most food service businesses’ pay more for center-of-the-plate items than anything else. Finding a high-quality meat source is a key consideration for many businesses.

“The center of the plate generates the highest costs for food service businesses.”

Broadline
Distributors that describe themselves as broadline carry a wide variety of products, from dry and frozen goods up to paper goods, and are often considered a one-stop shop for many food service environments. They may also carry meat, dairy and produce and offer delivery services. According to food industry research firm Technomic, the average broadline distributor carries between 8,000 and 12,000 stock keeping units. Increasingly, businesses are moving into broadline distribution because it is more lucrative to offer more options to customers.

C-Store
A c-store is a convenience store, such as 7-Eleven and Speedway, which sell prepared foods for immediate consumption. As businesses recognize the need to create a space for customers to eat, the average size of the convenience storing is increasing, according to the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing. In addition, as sales from tobacco decrease, food service sales are fast becoming the category these businesses profit from the most.

As food moves throughout the supply chain, it is key for foodservice workers to handle ingredients carefully to prevent cross-contamination and other issues. Disposable gloves play a central role in food safety, from the center of the plate to the convenience store.

No matter the application or needs of your staff, AMMEX has a glove that fits. Be sure to follow along with us through the month of September and show your support by using the hashtags #FoodSafetyMonth and #LetItFlow2015.

AMMEX3 Food Industry Terms to Know
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September is National Food Safety Month


Each September, the National Restaurant Association celebrates National Food Safety Month as a way to increase awareness and education about proper food handling. The event was established in 1994 and recently passed its 20-year anniversary. This educational event raises visibility about food safety, and it’s also a great opportunity to sell more gloves. Restaurants and other food service venues all have a large number of staff who need disposable gloves for safe food handling. Thus, the food industry represents a great opportunity for glove sales. In 2012, glove revenue from this industry reached $3.3 billion and will grow 29 percent to $4.3 billion in glove revenue opportunity by 2022. Throughout September, AMMEX will support NFSM and help to educate buyers regarding the uses of gloves.

Food safety in restaurants
The NRA comprises 970,000 restaurant and food service outlets in the U.S., covering a workforce of close to 13 million employees. The term food service also applies to any environment in which food is served, including sit-down restaurants, food trucks, college cafeterias, and more. If staff members handle or serve food, it is a food service establishment, which means they need to be aware of proper sanitation and hygiene guidelines.

“All food service environments need to be prudent about containing possible pathogens.”

Despite the wide variety of businesses and organizations that are in the food service industry, they all have one thing in common: the need to be prudent about containing possible pathogens and protecting employees and consumers from illnesses. Disposable gloves are among the first line of defense against foodborne illnesses like salmonella, as well as bacteria that may be transferred to food through contamination, such as E.coli or hepatitis A. That’s why the NRA’s NFSM event is so important: It helps food service organizations prevent foodborne pathogens.

Every year, NFSM designates five educational topics: one for each week in September. This year’s educational theme is “Let It Flow,” which focuses on the movement of food through the restaurant and preventing contamination issues at each stage. Here are the topics the month-long event will cover:

  • Week one: Receiving
  • Week two: Storage
  • Week three: Thawing and Holding
  • Week four: Preparation
  • Week five: Service

Food service establishments will learn each week about a different step and best practices to ensure the food remains safe to eat. At each stage, gloves help staff prevent contamination and cross-contamination of ingredients.

Gloves in food service
In addition to best practices offered by the NRA, the U.S. Food and  Drug Administration (FDA) has several rules regarding the necessity of gloves for food contact. These rules are in place to protect both workers in food processing and consumers.

  • Workers must minimize bare hand and arm contact with exposed food that is not ready to eat.
  • Gloves or utensils such as tongs and spatulas must be used for contact with exposed, ready-to-eat foods except when washing fruits and vegetables.
  • Gloves are used for a single task and must be discarded when workers switch to a new task, the gloves become soiled or the task is interrupted.
  • The FDA also requires all food processing employees wash their hands. This step reduces the chance of contamination because it prevents pathogens and other hazardous materials from touching the inside of the glove – one of many best practices for donning gloves.
“AMMEX gloves are excellent for food service applications.”

The right gloves for the right job
Food service positions, while they all require some sort of glove, involve handling different ingredients and kitchen equipment. Moreover, individual positions within the organization require unique gloves depending on the scope of the job. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and vinyl gloves are common throughout the industry because of their relatively low cost and the loose fit, which makes them easier to don and doff. These features are important in food service, where workers have to change gloves frequently.

Vinyl’s advantage over poly is that it conforms to the hand more closely, increasing dexterity. Employees are also able to obtain extra protection with AMMEX Anti-Microbial Vinyl Gloves, which have built in antimicrobial agents to prevent organisms from growing and help prevent cross-contamination.

However, food service establishments should not feel the need to limit themselves to vinyl. Other glove materials are equally useful in this industry. Why not consider a premium glove, such as nitrile or latex? Both materials provide superior dexterity, as well as greater puncture resistance vinyl.

AMMEX’s X3 Series provides a number of options for food service applications. This lineup includes the following gloves:

  • Xtreme X3 Nitrile Gloves: Microtexture enhances gripping power in wet and dry conditions, and these gloves provide three times the puncture resistance of latex. Xtreme X3 Nitrile Gloves also feature chemical resistance and are FDA approved for food service.
  • X3 Black Nitrile Gloves: These gloves have all the same benefits as X3 Nitrile, with a classic black color that provides a professional appearance.
  • GPX3 Vinyl Gloves: GPX3 Vinyl Gloves are low-cost and loose-fitting for light duty applications where employees change gloves repeatedly.
  • LX3 Latex Gloves: These latex gloves are lightweight, provide superior puncture resistance than vinyl and offer more elasticity than nitrile.

GPX3, X3, and BX3 gloves also come with a choice of 200 gloves per box, which adds up to 2000 gloves per case. Buying larger numbers of gloves at once means you spend less on packaging and replace boxes half as often.

No matter what the application or the needs of your staff, AMMEX has a glove that fits. Be sure to follow along with us through the month of September and show your support by using the hashtags #FoodSafetyMonth and #LetItFlow2015.

AMMEXSeptember is National Food Safety Month
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Making the Grade: Posting Food Safety Scores


Consumers have become more concerned about what is in their food and how those products move from farm to table, and government regulators and restaurants around the world have stepped up to keep the public more informed about food safety. This trend is evident through posted food safety scores, which are becoming more visible to consumers.

The public wants to be in the know
Many of today’s consumers are cautious about the steps taken to process and serve their food. Food safety is of growing importance as indicated by widespread protests over genetically modified organisms, calls for improved labeling to detail nutrition facts and the public’s penchant for reading research about food processing to become savvier consumers.

“Food safety scores are becoming more visible to consumers.”

At the restaurant level, establishments are providing the details of their food safety inspections. Not only are consumers happy to have this information, they want to see comprehensive scores. In fact, a crowdfunded study commissioned by Dine Safe King County and conducted by researchers from the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design Department showed consumers want more than an overall pass/fail rating – they desire to see an itemized list of where restaurants are missing the mark.

With this trend in mind, how have regulators and members of food service industry responded?

How inspectors score restaurants
Local health departments assign food safety scores in various ways. These ratings are numerical, pass/fail or denoted with a letter-based grade. New York City, for example, evaluates restaurants using a points system, and point ranges correspond to a letter grade. Each violation accumulates more points, so to earn a passing grade, restaurants want as few points as possible.

To be transparent about these ratings, restaurants publish their scores. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services noted this includes posting the score or the entire report in the establishments.

Lawmakers in San Mateo County, California, implemented a new program to make these posted ratings easier for consumers to understand. This program will color code the score placards to match traffic signals: green means a restaurant passed, yellow indicates a conditional pass and red denotes a closed restaurant.

 

AMMEXMaking the Grade: Posting Food Safety Scores
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Global Trends in Food Processing


Food processing facilities follow the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) rules, but these food safety guidelines are the bare minimum facilities undertake to prevent contamination. In addition to HACCP, these facilities follow rules regarding high- and low-care (or high- and low-risk) areas.

High- and low-care areas establish physical barriers against contamination and relate to anything that creates a process, such as washing, salting and cooking. This not only applies to personal protective equipment (PPE), but also the facility itself. The regulations designate clear start and end points for different parts of the processing supply chain to prevent microbial growth and other types of contamination.

Here is an overview of how high- and low-care areas work:

What are high- and low-care areas?
When employing these guidelines, each facility has its own standards. However, one factor remains constant: As food products move further up the supply chain, the control standards become more strict. Essentially, as food goes from farm to table, it will move from low- to high-care areas.

“As food goes from farm to table, it will move from low- to high-care areas.”

As implied by the name, low-care areas require a lower standard of hygiene than high-care segments of a facility. Although food products in these areas may have contact with the environment, they are not at risk for additional contamination, according to Food Safety Magazine. Food processing steps to be completed in low-care areas include receiving, preparing and cooking food.

High-care areas have the utmost hygiene standards. Furthermore, these sections of the facility are temperature-controlled.

Before entering either of these areas, workers must change into the appropriate PPE at designated changing stations and wash their hands throughout the process. In the case of equipment moving between areas, these tools must undergo sanitation procedures.

How do facilities delineate high- and low-care areas?
Several factors establish the barriers between different sections of a food processing facility. These include installations and PPE, according to the British Retail Consortium’s Global Standards.

For the physical structure, a few features are present in both areas but more extensive in high-care sections: entrances; filtration systems to remove dust, microorganisms and airborne particles; and color coded floor markings. Color coding also applies to PPE, tools used for processing and appliances.

The physical segregation also includes transfer points. These are places in the facilities between low- and high-care areas where employees must complete certain steps to prevent contamination. Before workers or equipment pass from one area to the other, they must undergo the aforementioned hygiene and sanitation procedures in the transfer point. In some factories, employees cannot move between low- and high-care areas under any circumstances.

“As part of the segregation measures for low- and high-care areas, employees must wash their hands before moving from one area to the other.”

How do facilities establish a flow to prevent contamination?
Food processing plants have certain guidelines and layouts to further ensure activities in low-care areas do not affect high-care sections.

Drainage is one key concern. Any drainage systems in the facility must flow from a high-care area to a low-care area. This ensures no contaminates, such as blood from livestock, flow into a high-care section and come into contact with cooked foods.

Another aspect of flow is the cooking process. Because foods are raw when they begin cooking in a low-care area, BRC’s standards require double doors on cooking ovens for thorough segregation of cooked and uncooked food products. While some facilities use single-door ovens, they put additional sanitation measures in place to prevent contamination in lieu of a second physical barrier.

What is the global perspective?
More foods are processed now compared to previous years, which raises the chances that part of the supply chain takes place in another country. Not only does this refer to steps in the process, but it also applies to where the ingredients come from.

Different countries have varying degrees of regulation for food processing, and the U.S. has less intense rules compared to Europe and Asia. For instance, the European Union enforces good hygiene practices (GHP), which include extensive training to make certain food processing employees prevent contamination, in addition to HACCP. As shown through regulations regarding low- and high-care areas, HACCP, GHP and other food safety guidelines, increased scrutiny and care of food processing and food safety are growing globally.

AMMEXGlobal Trends in Food Processing
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What to Know: OSHA’s Change MSDSs to SDSs


In 2012, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The revision sought to make the HCS align more closely with international compliance and provide a more standardized approach to the formatting of OSHA’s material safety data sheets (MSDSs), which will transition to safety data sheets (SDSs). Additionally, the update implemented new labeling requirements. These changes will make the HCS closer to standards of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

OSHA is introducing the update gradually. The implementation period started Dec. 1, 2013 and ends June 1, 2016. Employers must be compliant with the SDSs requirement by June 1, 2015.

What the revised HCS entails
The new provisions pertain to distributors, importers and manufacturers of chemicals. While the goal of the HCS, which is to give end users information about hazardous chemicals in products, remains the same, OSHA revised the standard to make the information more accessible. Per OSHA’s standards, these chemicals are:

  • Pyrophoric gases
  • Combustible dust
  • Simple asphyxiants
  • Health or safety hazards for any other reason

Manufacturers, distributors and importers must now communicate these hazards to end users via SDSs, which are largely the same as MSDSs. The key change is the new forms use a 16-section format to make the information easy to digest.

“Employers must be compliant with the SDSs requirement by June 1.”

Overview of the 16 sections
Sections 12 through 15 are the ones that specifically align with the GHS. The preceding sections detail information about the chemicals as well as control measures. The final section is for any other pertinent data.

The sections cover a number of issues. Sections 4, 5 and 6, for instance, list steps for responding to emergencies stemming from the chemical. These include first-aid, firefighting and accidental release measures.

Other sections define the nature of a chemical. What is it and what hazards are associated with it? If the chemical is a substance or mixture, what are the ingredients? What are the physical and chemical properties? These and other factors are covered in Sections 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11 and 12.

Other factors addressed in the SDSs include disposal guidelines, storage guidelines, associated regulations and shipping restrictions and requirements.

Caveats to the rules
OSHA has some exceptions to its new rules for SDSs. One particularly important designation is the exemption relating to articles. These items are exempt from the regulations because they do not release the chemical used in their development or present an exposure risk by any other means. For example, nitrile gloves do not need SDSs.

SDS regulations apply to several parts of the supply chain.

For items to be classified as articles, they must meet additional criteria. The product must have a specific design or shape that defines its end use. Disposable gloves are shaped to fit hands and provide barrier protection for those body parts, so they are articles.

One glove-specific exemption is medical-grade gloves. Unlike industrial-grade gloves, which receive oversight from OSHA, these products fall under the purview of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are therefore not liable to the HCS provisions.

How this affects AMMEX and our distributors
AMMEX is currently updating our MSDSs to SDSs. Both distributors and customers have inquired about when the change will be finalized. Per the OSHA deadlines, we encourage all vendors to ensure their products are compliant by the June 1 deadline.

AMMEXWhat to Know: OSHA’s Change MSDSs to SDSs
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March Madness: Team Poly


March Madness is about to begin, and some of the best disposable gloves are ready to make a slam dunk for barrier protection. The first team on the brackets is Team Poly. 

These gloves are known for having a strong bench, with many fresh gloves waiting to be called into the game when a current pair is worn out. This makes them great for food service, where gloves are changed frequently for short duration tasks.

Here’s our starting lineup for Team Poly:

“Stretch synthetic and traditional poly are the all stars of Team Poly.”

Stretch Synthetic
Stretch Synthetic Poly Gloves are the starting point guard for Team Poly because they offer exceptional dexterity compared to regular poly gloves. Plus, they have a light texture for great grip.

“These gloves have combined unique characteristics of conforming fit in a low cost poly glove,” one commentator said.

These features make the Stretch Synthetic Poly Glove a star player.

Traditional Poly
Traditional Poly Gloves score points by focusing on the fundamentals, but this does not mean they do not stand out on the team, as they are heat sealed rather than dipped like other glove types. They also show off a little style with an embossed texture for additional grip.

Team Poly has the players to defend food products against cross-contamination.

AMMEXMarch Madness: Team Poly
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HACCP without the Hiccup


Disposable gloves come in a variety of colors, but this is not simply for wearer preferences. Some colors are more common in one industry than in another. Automotive technicians, for example, are fond of black nitrile gloves because the color seems suitable for their job, but the color has no bearing on the gloves’ usefulness.

In other industries, however, colors serve a greater purpose. This is because of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) rules.

“HACCP provides strict oversight at each step of food production.” 

What is HACCP?
This regulation includes a set of guidelines to ensure that food processing occurs in a safe manner from start to finish. HACCP provides strict oversight at each step of the production process to make certain consumers get food products without physical, chemical or microbiological risks. Using scientific and logical strategies, regulators identify hazards, put controls in place to limit those hazards and conduct tests to ensure those controls are effective.

This control method came from Pillsbury microbiologist Dr. Howard E. Bauman and other researchers in 1959. The company worked with NASA under contract to develop a food that would not crumble or contain pathogens or parasites in spacecraft with the astronauts. The formal presentation of HACCP came a little over a decade later in 1971 at the National Conference on Food Protection in Denver.

Through the years, HACCP grew from three principles to seven, reaching its current framework in 1992. The seven principles include:

  1. Conducting hard analyses: Plants identify hazards.
  2. Determining control points: This principle involves identifying steps in the production cycle where plants should implement preventative measures.
  3. Setting critical limits: Plants determine the extent to which they must control identified hazards.
  4. Implementing monitoring procedures for each control point: Plants establish procedures to ensure workers implement controls at control points.
  5. Creating corrective actions: If monitoring reveals critical limits are not met, plants must enforce corrective actions.
  6. Implementing record-keeping procedures: Plants must keep record of all information relating to the aforementioned principles.
  7. Verifying that HACCP is working effectively: The final principle ensures a plant’s HACCP plan works through inspections.

From its inception to now, HACCP has expanded to a number of industries, including canning and meat processing.

What does HACCP check?
While HACCP is a detailed process that implements numerous assessments and controls along the food processing cycle, it is not completely comprehensive. However, it does indicate food producers are taking the most extensive measures possible to ensure food safety.

The International HACCP Alliance noted the brunt of attention goes toward microbiological hazards, which require a microscope to detect and include listeria and E. coli. Chemical hazards, such as antibiotics and pesticides, are also present and feared by some consumers.

“Color coding gloves helps with HACCP compliance.”

Where do disposable gloves fit in?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already requires glove use in food processing, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires HACCP for meat processing plants in the U.S. Plus, HACCP is required for seafood and juice. With these controls already in place, some may wonder what else gloves will do to further assist in compliance.

That is where the colors become important. One of the biggest issues with food safety hazards is cross contamination. If workers do not change gloves between tasks, there is risk of a transfer of microorganisms. For example, contamination occurs if workers switch from working with raw meat, which contains harmful bacteria, to handling cooked meat. The same is true of the transition between cleaning and processing fruit, respectively. To address these issues, food producers use color coding for their disposable gloves.

Another example of a HACCP principle in use is of a plant that processes both meat and seafood. Blue vinyl gloves could designate seafood products, while managers could limit translucent vinyl gloves to meat. While a seemingly small difference, the color coding can go a long way toward ensuring workers remember to change gloves when switching between tasks.

HACCP includes a wide range of checks and balances, of which gloves are only a small part. However, they are no less important than any other preventative measures because they help reduce possible food recalls and improve food quality.

AMMEXHACCP without the Hiccup
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Valentine’s Day: For the Love of Food Safety


Did you know economists predict Americans will spend $1.7 billion on candy this Valentine’s Day? That finding comes from the National Retail Federation and indicates a large need for disposable gloves in the food industry as the holiday of love approaches.

In addition to buying their sweethearts stuffed animals and roses, many consumers will shell out for chocolates, candy hearts and other holiday-themed treats. Plus, restaurants across the nation will be packed with couples looking to express their love over a nice meal.

With food processing and food service workers kicking into high gear in the days before and on the holiday, they will need extra gloves for increased production. This can be especially true in restaurants, where many chefs will be finding creative ways to hide engagement rings in desserts.

Food service workers already go through at least 20 pairs of gloves on average for a normal business day, so imagine what they will use on Valentine’s Day. Whether its preparing an array of heart-shaped entrees or packing the billions of conversation hearts the National Confectioner’s Association says manufacturers produce each year, show consumers some love by stocking up on disposable gloves.

For more information, follow this link.

AMMEXValentine’s Day: For the Love of Food Safety
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Stock up for Super Bowl XLIX


Super Bowl XLIX is approaching, and while the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots will provide the spectacle on the field, what about the one in the stands at University of Phoenix Stadium? How about the scenes in bars, restaurants and other venues across the country?

While players will be showing off on the field, hundreds of millions of people will be watching the game with a hot dog, nachos or other food item in their hands, which means members of the food service industry must stand ready to handle the high demand. This means having enough pairs of disposable gloves handy to feed all those hungry football fans.

Chicken wings, for example, are a staple of sports game cuisine. In fact, the National Chicken Council predicted in 2014 that Americans would eat 1.25 billion wings during that year’s championship game. With popular restaurants providing numerous orders of wings of all flavors, how can these and other food venues not afford to stock up on gloves before the big game – especially considering this industry goes through 20 pairs a day during normal periods?

Whether it’s the concession vendors at the big game or a local pizza joint pushing out pies to viewers at home, now is the time to get the right barrier protection.

AMMEXStock up for Super Bowl XLIX
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