First Lady Michelle Obama serves food with latex gloves, discriminates against persons with latex allergy!

First Lady

First Lady Michelle Obama in an effort to help out the homeless hands out contaminated food. Latex gloves transmit latex protein and contaminates the the food. As many as 16% of the population is allergic to latex. She is very inconsiderate and discriminates against persons with latex allergy.  Remember use non-latex gloves!



  1. Posted June 22, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    It is indeed considerate of the First Lady to wear latex gloves in handling food to the homeless, and not just any gloves. The reasons are as follow:

    (i) The most important of gloves in food handling is to protect consumers from infectious organisms or other contaminants on wounded or inadequately washed hands of food handlers. Studies have consistently demonstrated that latex gloves provide the best barrier protection against transmission of bacteria and viruses. On the other hand, non-latex gloves used presently for food handling, such as the plastic polyethylene and vinyl or PVC gloves have been shown to have lesser barrier capability than latex gloves.

    (ii) As for the fear of latex protein allergy, it may be of interest to know that unlike incidences reported in the health care settings, there is insufficient scientific and clinical evidence to show that handling food with latex gloves could elicit allergy reactions in consumers through food ingestion – a conclusion of a public meeting held to examine this issue by the U.S. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the FDA.

    (iii) Furthermore, while latex protein allergy reported in the healthcare settings in the early 1990s was attributed to the use of an older generation of latex gloves that had no control over thier protein and powder contents, latex gloves today, through improvement in glove manufacturing technologies, have vastly reduced protein content and are lightly powdered or powder-free. Many hospital studies have in fact repeatedly shown that the use of such improved low-protein gloves significantly reduces the incidences of latex protein sensitization as well as allergy reactions in workplaces. More importantly, many latex allergic individuals wearing non-latex gloves can now work safely alongside their co-workers using the low-protein latex gloves.

    For further information, please visit website

  2. Posted June 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    @Dr. E. Yip Latex gloves worn by workers in the food service industry have been known to leave behind traces of latex protein on food. Some customers have claimed to have experienced allergic reactions from eating food at restaurants that have used latex gloves. As a result, some states such as Oregon, Arizona, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have banned latex gloves from food service processing.

    Oregon has completely banned the use of latex gloves in all food service facilities within the state. The move was prompted in part by an increase in workers’ compensation claims stemming from latex-related allergies and by consumers’ complaints.

    The Arizona Department of Health Services has updated its requirements for food safety. It requires the use of latex-free gloves by workers handling all ready-to-eat foods. Likewise, Rhode Island prohibits the use of latex gloves in establishments and stores licensed by the Office of Food Protection.

    Similarly, the State Assembly of New York passed a bill that requires any food service establishment using gloves to warn consumers in writing that latex gloves are used by staff in the preparation of food and those allergic to latex should take appropriate precautions.

    Other states that have undertaken initiates to ban latex gloves from food preparation include California, Texas, Iowa and Nebraska. On my last trip to Ohio, I was informed that they now have a state low prohibiting the use of latex gloves in food handling services.

    For some people, pulling a pair of latex gloves out of a box “will” send then into anaphylatic shock or even death. My latex allergy started out as a rash, now just walking into a store with balloons will send me to an asthmatic fit. Using a set of latex gloves around someone with latex allergy is inconciderate and discriminatory. So for First Lady to wear latex gloves in handling food to the homeless is inconciderate and discriminatory to the persons with latex allergy!!

  3. Posted June 22, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Read how latex has ruined the lives of many people and lawsuits against latex
    Copyright © 1996–2009 Nancy A. Mitchell
    Last modified: Jan 01 2009

  4. frankcook
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your cogent thoughts on latex allergies; this is an important and often overlooked issue, and I found your words provocative and insightful.

    The organization I work for, the Pacific Northwest Foundation, is devoted to researching alternative modes of healing for a variety of illnesses, including latex allergy. I wanted to share with you a video presentation of a case study we conducted some years ago about a woman with severe latex allergy who, through a variety of methods, was able to diminish her reactivity. The link to the presentation is

    I’d like to thank you so much for your contribution to the subject of latex allergy, and hope you will find the case study above helpful in your continued exploration into the subject.

  5. Posted November 29, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    To the best of my knowledge, Massachusetts has not passed any bills banning latex gloves in food service. The Massachusetts Department of Health recommends they not be used, but it’s merely a recommendation.

    Also, I am not aware that NY has passed any bills requiring restaurants warn customers if latex gloves are used.

    Please post, if possible, proof of such laws in the states of Massachusetts, NY, and Ohio, so that I might update my Web site if necessary. Thanks in advance!

  6. Posted December 10, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Here is the link where I cited the information about your concerns:
    Thanks for your comments

  7. helen Klein
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    This is for all those high school graduates who have taken basic chemistry, I didn’t, but does anything with grease break down any thing rubber or latex? Think about it. Every oily cookie, every raw or cooked hamburger patty, slice of cheese, or slice of bacon that is handled by food service personnel wearing latex gloves, leaves a trace of latex on the food. If I am lucky I can taste it. If I am not lucky, my intestinal tract will tell me. It feels like flu systems. Thank you, and be careful.

  8. Posted August 1, 2010 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    @Hellen, excellent point! Thanks for bringing that to our attention. I know that petroleum products break down the latex in the gloves. Maybe someone else can answer that question.

  9. Posted January 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    what i haven’t seen mentioned here is also the “airborne” factor of latex gloves — the proteins bind to the powder and become airborne (even ‘powder-free’ gloves contain small % powder so the gloves can be opened & worn). thus you have several modes of contamination & exposure. absorption (airborne latex landing on skin & mucous membranes (ie the eyes) and being absorbed); inhalation (breathing latex-contaminated air); ingestion (eating latex contaminated food/drink — contaminated by direct touch with latex gloves (scientifically proven!) and from airborne latex); and injection (ie latex in the vials/syringes, puncture wounds with latex-contaminated material, stinging insects (many are latex-cross-reactive).

    NIOSH issued an alert in 1997!! how to prevent latex allergy in the workplace — use of NON-latex gloves in food handling, general housekeeping, hair dressers, ETC. since then so much more has been learned about latex allergy. now, John Hopkins Hospital has led the way in going “latex-free” (they’re the ones that introduced latex gloves into the medical community).

    ANYONE can become latex allergic at ANYTIME. it is a progressive allergy which gets worse with EACH exposure! the ONLY treatment is AVOIDANCE!!

    don’t be fooled by statements made by those with financial interests in the rubber industry! and re comments “FDA approved” — the FDA is NOTORIOUS for approving things only to have to backtrack after the safety is DISPROVED by ruined lives!!! (latex gloves, chemicals, drugs, etc, etc, ETC!!)

    i get anaphylaxis reactions to food handled with latex gloves. i’m now disabled with NRLA (natural rubber latex allergy) and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) because i didn’t know anything about latex or latex allergy. so i was continuing to be exposed thru airborne latex, through ingesting foods that were latex-contaminated and from handling things that were latex or latex-contaminated.

    these airborne dangers of latex-proteins are also present with latex balloons.

    this website is fantastic for learning more about latex allergy

    yes, petroleum products break down the latex/rubber AND putting on lotions before donning latex gloves will facilitate even greater absorption of latex proteins. i used to put lotion on with latex kitchen gloves then wash dishes in EXTREMELY HOT water as a dry skin “treatment”. GASP!!

  10. Posted January 21, 2011 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know with certainty if latex breaks down with non-petroleum oils? Olive oil? Food grade oils…?

    janieinMN thanks

  11. Posted January 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    if you’re talking latex gloves, it’ll “contaminate” ANYthing with latex — the proteins transfer by “touch” and they also bind to the powder in/on the gloves (the powder they use so the gloves won’t stick & enable you to put them on) and will “mix” with anything via direct touch & airborne. so if you’re using with food oils, yes, latex will get into the oils.

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  13. Carolyn
    Posted January 19, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Dr. E Yip, I hope you are up to date on your latex allergy information by now. I happen to have a life threatening latex allergy and have had anaphylaxis from having food touched by latex gloves. I can not work side by side near someone wearing latex gloves in the same facility while I wore non-latex- I am disabled from my career in the health care field. Misinformation like you posted kept my diagnose and proper treatment from being realized at the early stages. I can not eat anything prepackaged since I have had anaphylaxis from the wrapper of a protein bar that had latex in the adhesive. I can not know whether or not manufacturing facilities use latex in food production. The fear of latex allergy is real and life threatening and I take it extremely seriously everyday. My life depends on it.

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