Protect your hands with the right glove

We know hands and fingers are important tools for employees working in the food industry. They are highly exposed in many situations, and finding the right glove for each task is paramount. At ABENA, we are always ready to support you with the right solution for your needs and industry.

How to Choose the Right Glove 

When deciding which glove to use, you need to be aware of the various risks involved in the task.
At ABENA, we recommend that you think carefully about the following: 

  • Which materials you work with
  • If you come into contact with chemicals or microorganisms
  • If you need protection against cold, heat, cuts, or tearing
  • Glove comfort
  • Need for finger sensitivity
  • Need for a secure grip
  • Need for vibration minimization
  • CE-labeling and other safety certificates
  • The right size

Know Your Specific Purpose

Handling food calls for great attention to safety as well as hygiene. Also, it is essential to have documentation that proves the chosen products fulfill the required standards. Gloves are obligatory in many work situations in food production – like direct contact with food, frozen goods, etc.

Every case involves gloves with unique properties that must comply with the required safety and hygiene standards. Evaluate your need within the risk levels I, II, and III or research which EN standards support your glove use.

Let us guide you

Evaluate Your Needs Based on Risk Levels I, II, and III:  

EU 2016/425 divides personal protective equipment, including gloves, into three different risk groups. The higher the risk the product must handle, the higher the level is required. 

Level I
On this level, you will find gloves that are used for low-risk tasks. The manufacturer/importer must guarantee that the gloves meet the requirements for protective gloves (EN 420).

Level II
On this level, gloves with medium risk are used, e.g. welding and industrial gloves. The gloves on this level must be tested and type-approved by an EU-approved test institute. A pictogram showing protective function is required.

Level III
In addition to testing, type approval, and certifications, continuous quality control is required. Level 3 includes work tasks with a high risk, such as extreme heat, cold, or protection against dangerous chemicals.

EN Standards – Your Tool for Choosing the Right Glove 

Besides risk levels, I, II, and III, EN standards can also be used when choosing the right glove. The standards are common guidelines within function, safety, and quality. Every EN standard has a specific area to classify gloves and other personal protective equipment.

This means that gloves intended for protection against mechanical risk must be provided with the pictogram EN 388. EN standards are your tool when getting an overview of the product's quality and safety, no matter where it is produced.


How Can We Help You?

We are ready to help you with a solution that suits your needs and your specific business. 

Contact ABENA today

EN 388:2016 - Gloves for protection against mechanical risk

This pictogram shows that the glove is certified and approved for protection against mechanical risk. After a test, the glove is assigned values for the individual risk areas that indicate the test results for wear, cut strength, tear strength and puncture. The values are 1-5 or 1-4, with 4 or 5 being the highest value.

The cutting strength is divided based on how many newtons the glove can withstand. The letters A through F show this strength, with F being the highest (3 kg. +), and A being the lowest (200 to 499 grams).

EN 374:2016 - Gloves for protection against chemicals and micro-organisms

EN374-1: 2016 consists of different pictograms depending on what the glove protects against. Gloves marked with the EN374-1:2016 symbol show how they handle chemical exposure. According to the chemical list, the symbol shows how many chemicals the gloves have been affected by.
There are three types of certification in chemicals:

- Type A is tested and certified against 6 chemicals for at least 30 min.
- Type B is tested and certified against 3 chemicals for at least 30 min.
- Type C is tested and insured against 1 chemical for at least 10 min.

EN 374-5:2016 VIRUS

Protective gloves against hazardous chemicals and microorganisms - Part 5:

Terminology and performance requirements for microorganism risks (ISO 374-5: 2016) EN374-5 is a new test method that indicates whether the glove has been tested against bacteria, fungi and viruses.

If the word virus is not mentioned under the icon, the glove is only tested against bacteria and fungi, not against viruses.

EN 407:2004 – Gloves for protection against thermal risk (heat)

This pictogram indicates that the glove is certified and approved for protection in contact with high heat, such as contact heat, radiant heat or molten metal.

The pictogram shows the level of protection (1-4) and what the glove protects against (A-F). The higher the number, the better the result.

EN 511:2006 – Gloves for protection against cold

This pictogram shows that the glove is certified and approved for protection against cold. The protection level is indicated on the pictogram.

The glove must withstand both penetrating cold (convection cold) and contact cold in case of direct contact. In both cases, the highest protection level is 4. There is no requirement that the glove is tested against water penetration, but when water penetrates there are two values: 0 and 1.

If the water penetrates in less than 30 minutes, the value is 0. If the water penetrates in more than 30 minutes, it is 1. The glove must at least achieve protection level 1 according to EN388, which concerns wear resistance.


The primary directive EC/1935/2004 deals with all materials that may come into contact with food.

The materials must not affect the food and thus pose a health risk. Gloves certified and approved for food handling are marked with the "glass and fork" pictogram.

EN 374:2019

This standard specifies a test method for the ability of gloves to resist penetration by hazardous chemicals under continuous contact.

Here the test is defined by a change in the material due to contact with a chemical. The result is a change in appearance or texture, such as swelling, discoloration, hardening or softening.