SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Eagle Protect, specialist supplier of disposable gloves and PPE, is warning cannabis cultivators and processors about the potential risk of microbial cross-contamination from gloves, which may lead to costly product recalls and even threaten the health and safety of cannabis consumers, particularly those who are immunocompromised.
The culmination of Eagle Protect’s five-year study on the risk of glove contamination included findings from the independent testing of the interior and exterior glove surfaces of 26 different brands. The testing and analysis revealed fecal indicators on up to 50% of gloves, potentially harmful yeast species, and distinct genera of fungi including Penicillium, Cladosporium and Aspergillus – all capable of causing cross-contamination in cannabis-related supply chains. As for the source, significant contributing factors that have led to documented cases of glove contamination include inadequate process controls, putrid water quality, poor regulatory standards, and lax oversight and enforcement.
“As sales of cannabis and cannabis-related products continue to grow, so does the risk of product recalls – which can have costly consequences, regardless of the manufacturer’s size,” said Steve Ardagh,
CEO of Eagle Protect. “Among the many case studies we reviewed, the threat of bacterial, fungal, and allergen-related contamination may have been avoided if the industry adhered to higher glove compliance standards for handling products. Considering the different microbial testing thresholds across the U.S., it’s important to stay up to date on the regulations and requirements for cannabis-related products on a state-by-state basis.“
The FDA previously identified inadequate glove manufacturing process controls, leading to gloves contaminated with Aspergillus sp. and Fusarium sp. and recalled from the market. Investigations have also shown that damp boxed gloves can be contaminated with Aspergillus species. Eagle’s recent research findings give reason for concern, especially when combined with previous FDA recalls related to the presence of Aspergillus and Fusarium species and deaths caused by severe cutaneous aspergillosis infections.
A cannabis-related recall due to gloves contaminated by ortho-phenylphenol (OPP) fungicide, has also been well documented. With glove imports having dropped considerably since Aug. 2022, the industry is overstocked – awash with poor quality gloves dating back to the scarcity of supply immediately following the Covid outbreak. Several instances of unscrupulous manufacturers attempting to import tens of millions of filthy, re-used, and even fraudulent disposable gloves, have made global headlines.
For glove and PPE suppliers, recall prevention and consumer health begins with setting high manufacturing standards and the implementation of in-depth quality control measures.
Stringent, third-party testing procedures, product traceability, and routine auditing, are all part of Eagle Protect’s proprietary Delta Zero glove quality verification program – indicative of the company’s commitment to mitigating and eliminating the threat of supply chain contamination. Delta Zero verified Eagle gloves have undergone third-party laboratory testing, passing a stringent set of standards that guarantee adherence to the highest levels of consistency, safety, and performance. Eagle’s certification includes a five-factor verification process, authenticity of quality raw materials, and the absence of unsafe chemicals, toxins, and microbial contaminants – guaranteeing against fungal, microbial, and pesticide-related contaminants. All of the aforementioned threats have the potential to cause cross-contamination of any type of cannabis-related products.
“Our customers are assured of high-quality and performance products, manufactured to the strictest standards of safety, hygiene, and performance.” said Ardagh. “As included in our unique Eagle Protect Standard, Delta Zero solidifies our commitment to reliable quality assurance, safeguarding our customers and consumers.” For further company information on Eagle Protect and their Delta Zero glove quality verification program, please visit https://eagleprotect.com.
About Eagle Protect
Eagle Protect was founded in New Zealand in 2006 by Steve Ardagh and Lynda Ronaldson, whose purpose has focused on the responsible sourcing of quality products to ensure customer safety and impact reduction, ultimately mitigating customers’ risk. Since its founding, the company has grown rapidly to supply disposable gloves and protective clothing to 80 percent of the primary food processing industry in New Zealand. After successfully tackling challenges faced by the New Zealand food industry, Ardagh and his family relocated to California in January 2016, to bring Eagle Protect’s advanced technological approach and philosophy around the supply of single-use gloves to the U.S.