Federal Food Code
The FDA Food Code is not enforced on the federal level, rather it is a model document for local and state regulators to follow for framing their own food safety policies. This document is updated every four years, with the most recent being the 2009 Food Code. Many states, however still reference older versions of the document, most commonly the 2001 Food Code or 1999 Food Code.
Two sections of FDA Food Code are of particular interest, as pertain to gloves. First, section 2-301 details procedures for maintaining personal cleanliness of hands and arms, including proper hand washing procedures. Second, section 3-301.11 requires that food employees not contact exposed ready-to-eat foods, mandating use of utensils, including disposable gloves. Food employees are also expected to minimize contact with exposed food that is not considered ready-to-eat. The 2005 Food Code does include provisions enabling food employees to come in contact with ready-to-eat foods provided the certain conditions are met.